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Thailand-Japan FTA likely in 90 days

Bangkok Post

Thailand-Japan FTA likely in 90 days

14 January 2006

(TNA) - Foreign Minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon said on Friday Japan and Thailand would likely sign a free trade agree (FTA) agreement in early April when Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is scheduled to make an official visit to Tokyo.

“We expect the negotiations for the Thai-Japanese FTA will be finalised before April 2-3 when the Thai premier is scheduled to pay an official visit to Japan," he said. "It is likely the signing of the FTA deal will take place during the period."

Speaking after a meeting with Japan’s visiting Deputy Foreign Minister Yasuhisa Shiosaki, he said a main discussion focussed on the 120th anniversary of the establishment of Japanese-Thai relations next year.

Both sides viewed a joint working committee should be set up to prepare the organisation of events such as culture exchange and film festival to celebrate the anniversary.

Mr Kantathi said he and the Japanese minister also exchanged views on Russia’s intention to attend the East Asia Summit.

As well, he sought Japan’s confirmation of its support for Deputy Prime Minister Surakiate Sathirathai’s competition for the United Nations Secretary-General position.

Mr Kantathi said he would make a visit to Japan on March 7 to exchange views and hold a discussion at a multilateral level on the reform of the UN and Security Council.

The Thai premier is one of 14 heads of the countries who had been invited by the Denmark’s prime minister to help exchange views on the UN reform.