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.
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