Japan-Thailand Summit Meeting
On May 2, commencing at 4:10 p.m. (local time; 6:10 p.m. JST) for approximately 2 hour and 15 minutes, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, who is visiting the Kingdom of Thailand, held a summit meeting including a small-group summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Thailand, at the Office of the Prime Minister. An overview of the meeting is as follows. After the meeting, the two leaders attended a signing ceremony, joint press conference, and welcome dinner hosted by Prime Minister Prayut.
The meeting was attended by Mr. ISOZAKI Yoshihiko, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary and others.
1. Opening remarks
Prime Minister Kishida expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Prayut and the Thai people for their warm welcome. He stated that as the world currently stands at a historical crossroads over the foundations of the international order, he hoped to strengthen cooperation with Thailand in realizing a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific," and in addressing regional and international affairs, such as Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the situations in the South China Sea and in Myanmar. He also expressed his willingness to further develop friendly relations with Thailand, a strategic partner, on the occasion of the 135th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Thailand this year. In response, Prime Minister Prayut stated that he welcomes Prime Minister Kishida’s visit to Thailand, and that he would like to further strengthen bilateral relations and work closely together to address regional and international issues as the world faces the various challenges.
2. Bilateral relations
(1) Security and legal areas
Both leaders welcomed the signing of the "Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology" and shared the view on proceeding consultations regarding specific items to be transferred. They also concurred on accelerating coordination of formal negotiation meetings to conclude a treaty between Japan and Thailand on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.
Prime Minister Kishida expressed his willingness to strengthen Japan-Thailand economic ties for the future by promoting cooperation in the areas of economic security including supply chain resilience, and cooperating in the areas of decarbonization through the "Asia Energy Transition Initiative", digital including 5G, smart cities, and healthcare. He also introduced the “Asia Zero Emissions Community” vision. In response, Prime Minister Prayut expressed his commitment to strengthen relations in these areas and hoped for further investment from Japanese companies. The two leaders also shared the view to reflect cooperation in these areas in the "Five-Year Plan for Strategic Economic Partnership between Japan and Thailand," which is currently being formulated.
(3) Response to COVID-19
Prime Minister Kishida stated that the Government of Japan decided to provide a loan of 50 billion yen to support measures to counter COVID-19 and to strengthen quarantine measures at the border by procuring equipment. He hoped that the two countries would be able to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and resume cross-border travel between the two countries. Prime Minister Prayut expressed his gratitude for Japan's support on COVID-19 countermeasures including provision of vaccines and hoped for the early resumption of cross-border travel of Japanese tourists and economic activities.
3. Regional and international affairs
(1) Situation in Ukraine
Prime Minister Kishida stated that Russia's aggression against Ukraine is a clear violation of international law as well as a breach of the UN Charter and is also incompatible with the ASEAN Charter. Then, he mentioned that Japan vehemently condemns such acts and any unilateral change of the status quo by force is absolutely unacceptable. In response, Prime Minister Prayut explained Thailand's position on the situation in Ukraine. The two leaders shared the view that the violation of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force should never be tolerated in any region.The two leaders also concurred to oppose any threat of use or the use of weapons of mass destruction.
Prime Minister Kishida highly appreciated Thailand's decision to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. Prime Minister Prayut expressed his intention to continue providing additional humanitarian assistance, and both Japan and Thailand shared the view that they would work together in this field as well.
(2) Other regional situations
Prime Minister Kishida expressed his strong opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the East and South China Seas as well as to any economic coercion. The two leaders also exchanged views on the situation in North Korea, and affirmed that they would continue to cooperate in dealing with North Korea, including on nuclear, missile, and abduction issues. They also had an exchange of views on the situation in Myanmar. Prime Minister Kishida stated that the visit of the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair to Myanmar in March was the first step toward resolving the situation, and he will continue to back up the ASEAN’s efforts. He also stated that as a Myanmar's neighboring country, Thailand’s support for ASEAN’s efforts was important and hoped that Thailand would play a proactive role in resolving the situation. Prime Minister Prayut explained Thailand's position on the situation in Myanmar including the importance of humanitarian assistance. The two leaders shared the view to continue to work closely together in order to break the deadlock.
(3) Cooperation on the Mekong, ASEAN, and international arenas
Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japanese government has contributed 150 million yen to the ACMECS Development Fund for Mekong-Japan cooperation, and Prime Minister Prayut expressed his gratitude. The two leaders shared the view to continue to work closely together to develop the Mekong region.
Prime Minister Kishida also spoke about Japan’s cooperation with ASEAN, stating that next year will mark the 50th year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, and that he would like to set guidelines for future ASEAN-Japan cooperation at the special summit in Japan held next year. Prime Minister Prayut stated that as ASEAN Country Coordinator for Japan, Thailand would support Japan's initiative and cooperate with Japan.
In addition, Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan fully supports Thailand's priorities, including the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economy, for the success of APEC, which Thailand will chair this year. Prime Minister Prayut expressed his gratitude, and both countries shared the view to work closely together for the success of APEC. They also shared the view to cooperate in the areas of UN Security Council reform and nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
(Reference) Signed agreements and others
1. Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand concerning the transfer of defense equipment and technology (English, Japanese)
The agreement establishes a legal framework for the Government of Japan and Thailand regarding the transfer of defense equipment and technology necessary to implement projects which the two governments participate, such as those for contributing to international peace and security, joint research, development and production projects; or for enhancing security and defense cooperation.
Japan: NASHIDA Kazuya, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Thailand
Thailand: Sirichai Kanjanabode, Director of Joint Logistics, Directorate of Joint Logistics, Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters
2. COVID-19 crisis response emergency support loan
This loan is to provide financial support to the Government of Thailand, where COVID-19 is spreading. Through this cooperation, the health care system with a view of post-COVID will be strengthened, support for the poor and vulnerable as well as small and medium-sized enterprises affected by COVID-19 will be promoted, and Thailand’s economic and social stabilization as well as development efforts will be promoted. (maximum loan: 50 billion yen).
(2) Conditions are as below:
a) Interest rate :0.01% per annum
b) Redemption period: 15 years(including 4 years period of deferment)
c) Procurement conditions: general untied
Japan: NASHIDA Kazuya, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Thailand
Thailand: Arkhom Tormpittayapaisith, Minister of Finance
3. Programme for COVID-19 crisis response emergency support
This programme is to provide Suvarnabhumi International Airport, four border quarantine stations and hospitals near border in Thailand with equipment related to quarantine, border control, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. Through this cooperation, it is expected that the risk of infection with a coronavirus will be suppressed and economic activities will be resumed at the same time, which will promote Thailand’s economic and social stabilization as well as development efforts (grant amount: 500 million yen).
Japan: NASHIDA Kazuya, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Thailand
Thailand: Ureerat Chareontoh, Director General, Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA)