May 25, 2021
Japan Ministry of Defense
Japan-Thailand Defense Ministers’ Video Teleconference
On May 25, 2021, commencing at 1700 for approximately 50 minutes, Minister KISHI held a video teleconference with Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Kingdom of Thailand.
1. Minister Kishi and Prime Minister Prayut exchanged views on regional security issues, including the East China Sea and the South China Sea in light of the current events occurring in the region. They reconfirmed the importance of freedom of navigation and overflight, and reaffirmed that the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) has many fundamental principles with Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) in promoting peace and cooperation. They also supported the principles enshrined in the AOIP such as ASEAN Centrality and respect for international law, in particular the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Minister Kishi stated his intent to reinforce within the international community a steadfast opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by coercion. From these perspectives, Minister Kishi expressed serious concerns over the China’s Coast Guard Law.
Minister Kishi also condemned the launches of ballistic missiles by North Korea, which violates UNSC resolutions, and he conveyed his view that North Korea’s repeated launches of ballistic missiles pose a serious challenge to the international community as a whole.
Regarding the situation in Myanmar, Minister Kishi welcomed the constructive role of Thailand and the outcome of ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting held on 24 April 2021 in Jakarta. The two Ministers affirmed their intent to continue to cooperate closely on this matter.
2. They also exchanged views on bilateral and multilateral defense cooperation and exchanges. Minister Kishi expressed his appreciation for Thailand’s continued support for receiving the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) in an annual multilateral exercise, “Cobra Gold,” and Prime Minister Prayut welcomed SDF’s participation so far. In addition, Minister Kishi welcomed that the both countries shared lessons learned in the context of preventing the spread of infectious diseases through “Japan-ASEAN HA/DR Online Seminar,” which was held last month as a series of defense cooperation in the area of counter measures against infectious diseases. Furthermore, the two Ministers supported the enhancement of bilateral and multilateral defense cooperation and exchanges, including through advancing defense equipment and technology cooperation and continuing educational exchanges.
3. In this context, Minister Kishi and Prime Minister Prayut concurred in proactively promoting defense cooperation between Thailand and Japan in areas of mutual benefits, while maintaining close communication between respective defense authorities.