Japan Signs Defense Deal With Thailand

Japan and Thailand signed an agreement Monday, on a defense deal that allows the mutual transfer of defense equipment and technology and strengthens the security cooperation between the two countries.

“The signing of our defense equipment and technology transfer agreement is a major step forward in expanding bilateral defense cooperation,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.

Kishida also announced that Japan would provide $385 million in loans and $3,845,450 million in grant aid to help Thailand recover from the COVID-19 pandemic fallout.

Meanwhile, Prayut also said that he hopes the deal would “help promote Japanese investment in the Thai defense industry.”

Japan made similar deals with other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Japan has been working to strengthen ties with ASEAN members as it promotes its vision of a “free and open” Indo-Pacific region in response to the growing influence of China in the region. 

Kishida and Prayut also agreed to coordinate closely on regional issues, including the situation in Myanmar and North Korea’s missile and nuclear development.

Thailand is the third Southeast Asian country after Indonesia and Vietnam in Kishida’s tour of the region to join forces with his counterparts in responding to the crisis in Ukraine.

On Friday, Kishida and Indonesian President Joko Widodo agreed to uphold a rules-based order amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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