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Japan-Thailand Defense Ministerial Meeting

General Boonrawd (center) and Defense Minister Kyuma (right) reviewing Thai troops
General Boonrawd (center) and Defense Minister Kyuma (right) reviewing Thai troops

Defense Minister Kyuma (left) meeting with the commandant of the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy
Defense Minister Kyuma (left) meeting with the commandant of the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy
Minister of State for Defense (now Minister of Defense) Fumio Kyuma visited Thailand January 2-6. During his stay he held talks with Minister of Defense General Boonrawd Somtas and Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces General Boonsrang Niumpradit, paid a courtesy call on President of the Privy Council Prem Tinsulanond, and visited the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, northeast of Bangkok.
    In his meeting with General Boonrawd, Kyuma began by expressing thanks for the opportunity to visit Thailand in the memorable year marking the 120th anniversary of Japan-Thailand diplomatic relations and for the warm welcome he had received. He also explained the scheduled transition of the Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense, and the two ministers then exchanged views on their nations' defense policies, defense exchange, and other matters.
    Commenting on the situation in Northeast Asia, Kyuma said that a series of deeds by North Korea, such as its recent Missile Launch and announcement of an underground nuclear test, posed a serious threat to the peace and stability of not only Japan but also Northeast Asia as a whole and the international community. He stressed that the international community should firmly criticize North Korea's behavior and make a coordinated response. He also discussed Japan-China relations and Japan's perception of China's military strength.
    General Boonrawd responded that Thailand, too, was criticizing North Korea's Missile Launch and nuclear test announcement and talked about the situation in the ASEAN region and Thailand's political situation.