KYODO – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe repeated his call on Thailand on Thursday to restore a civilian-led government in the Southeast Asian country which experienced a coup in May, Japanese officials said.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the call during a meeting with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha in Naypyitaw as he expressed Tokyo’s interest in more infrastructure projects in Thailand such as a high-speed train system, the officials said.
Prayuth explained his government’s efforts to return to a civilian-led government and told Abe that Thailand looks forward to Japan’s further economic assistance.
The Japanese and Thai leaders met on the sidelines of two-day events related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the Myanmar capital. They first met in Milan last month on the fringes of the Asia-Europe Meeting.
In Thursday’s meeting Abe asked Prayuth to completely remove a ban on imports of Japanese food products that was imposed for fear of radiation-induced health risks following the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Prayuth was quoted as saying Thailand already eased part of the restrictions and will consider lifting all of them depending on the results of future safety checks.
Abe urged Prayuth to ensure a “fair and transparent” environment for investment by Japanese corporations and the Thai leader promised efforts to that end, according to the officials.
Later Thursday Abe held brief talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and asked him to consider using the Japanese system for the “shinkansen” bullet train for a high-speed rail link planned between Malaysia and Singapore, the officials said.