Nikkei Asia
May 2, 2022

Japan PM touts unity on Ukraine in Southeast Asia tour

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday held the last in a string of Southeast Asian summits aimed at helping to shape the international narrative on the conflict in Ukraine.

Tokyo hopes that the top-level diplomatic drive will move the needle on Southeast Asian leaders’ views toward Moscow. This approach is of a piece with the West’s focus on persuasion in its response to the Ukraine invasion…to win support for Kyiv and avoid holes in its sanctions regime.

Kishida and Prayuth agreed to work together in the South China Sea, where China has been building up its military presence – a situation that, similar to the Ukraine conflict, is seen as a threat rooted in the military and economic might of Beijing and Moscow, respectively.

Tokyo and Bangkok on Monday signed an agreement to enable transfers of defense equipment and technological cooperation, a move expected to help build trust between Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and the Thai military.

Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries have traditionally sought to strike a balance among major global powers….


Kyodo News
May 2, 2022

Japan, Thailand ink agreement on defense transfer amid China’s rise

Japan and Thailand signed an agreement Monday enabling the mutual transfer of defense equipment and technology, deepening their bilateral security cooperation amid the growing clout of an assertive China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also agreed during their summit to work closely in extending humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and its neighbors….

Japan has been deepening ties with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations….