Japan and Thai agree on defense transfers

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The deal was reached during a summit between Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the Thai Prime Minister’s Office in Bangkok on Monday. Both prime ministers attended the signing ceremony.

“[The agreement] is a big step forward in expanding bilateral security cooperation,” Kishida said at a joint press conference after the summit. Expressing hope, Prayut said the defense pact will “help boost Japanese investment in Thailand’s defense industry.”

The deal apparently aims to improve defense cooperation between the two countries in light of China’s growing hegemony. Japan and Thailand will promote discussions about the export of certain defense equipment.

Japan has a similar deal with 11 other countries, including the United States, Britain and Australia. Thailand is chairing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum this year.

Regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kishida and Prayut confirmed during their talks that they would not accept violating sovereignty and territorial integrity and unilaterally changing the status quo by force in any region. They agreed to counter threats from weapons of mass destruction and their use.

The two leaders also reaffirmed their close cooperation on dealings with China, which has stepped up its maritime advances in the South China Sea.

By Ryuichi Sato and Tomoko Tsuda / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writers

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