Monday, November 16, as part of the bilateral talks at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum of Manila, the Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida have reached a preliminary agreement for cooperation in the fight against international terrorism. The agreement comes in response to the attacks that have bloodied Paris on the night of Friday and to the attack suffered by the Thai capital in August, which killed 20 people.
” The international community – said Kishida – should be united to resolutely condemn the terrorist acts”. The two ministers then promised closer cooperation between their countries in the fight against the terrorist threat.
4500 Japanese companies operates in Thailand and over 60,000 Japanese citizens live and work in the country. Foreign Minister Kishida has therefore asked the Thai government to do everything is possible to ensure the safety of its citizens and to protect Nipponese investments. At the same time, he confirmed the support of his government for the development of new infrastructure in the country of Southeast Asia, starting from the rail network.
The meeting also focused on the South China Sea issue and tensions involving the powers of the area, for the control of maritime communications. Keshida hopes that ASEAN, the Association of South-East Asian Nations, launches a joint appeal at the next summit in Kuala Lumpur to demand greater regional stability and respect for the rule of law.
Japan, in fact, is directly interested in the dispute. Although Tokio has not territorial claims, It considers crucial for japanase economy to ensure free navigation on the South China Sea waters and is putting pressure on the Southeast Asia countries to create a joint front that could limit Chinese expansionism. A difficult goal to achieve since Beijing is acting in parallel, on the diplomatic front, to strengthen its positions and weaken the ASEAN countries claims.
Even the Asian stocks initially suffered the effects of the Paris attacks, with substantial losses on Monday, when the markets opened. Fear was short-lived, on the financial markets, and already on Tuesday the main lists of the continent were back in positive territory, with gains over 1%, after the European and US stock markets recorded a first bounce.