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Home > Thailand Article > Japan, Thailand agree to seek early signing of FTA Asian Political News, June 5, 2006

Japan, Thailand agree to seek early signing of FTA Asian Political News, June 5, 2006

HO CHI MINH CITY, June 1 Kyodo

Japan and Thailand on Thursday reaffirmed their intention to seek to sign a bilateral free trade agreement as early as possible, as Bangkok's political crisis had postponed the signing originally set for April 3, Japanese officials said.

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshihiro Nikai and Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak shared the view that the two countries should note the resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in September in considering the timing of the FTA signing, they said.

Nikai and Somkid, who doubles as commerce minister, met on the sidelines of the meeting of trade ministers from the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Somkid said he may visit Japan to lay the groundwork for the signing of the FTA.

Koizumi and his Thai counterpart Thaksin Shinawatra have been engaged in the FTA negotiations, but the political crisis occurred in Thailand after Thaksin called a snap general election on April 2 in the hope of ending a street campaign against him.

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