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Japanese - Thai relationships strengthened

Japanese - Thai relationships strengthened

Staff reporters

His Excellency Masatoshi Abe, Japanese senior vice-minister for foreign affairs visited Chiang Mai from August 30 -31, 2004. During his visit he met with Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat and other dignitaries. The meetings aimed to highlight the newly established Japanese consulate-general in Chiang Mai and to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

His Excellency Masatoshi Abe, senior vice-minister for foreign affairs (right), being welcomed by the Japanese Consul General Katsuhiro Shinohara at Chiang Mai International Airport early Monday evening. (Photo by Michael Vogt)

H.E. Abe visited and inspected factories created by Japanese investment in the Northern Region Industrial Estate (NRIE) in Lamphun. The 32 Japanese factories in the NRIE, which mostly produce electronic and machinery parts, are accounting for more than 50% of the total 62 factories in operation there.

Those Japanese factories contribute greatly to both increased employment opportunities for local Thais and the economic development in Northern Thailand.

Another project visited by H.E. Masatoshi Abe was the ‘Saori-Hiroba’ project, heavily supported by the government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It is a project which improves vocational opportunities for people with disabilities and supports hill tribe peoples’ economic independence through the use of locally produces yarn.