PM Vol 17 No 100 Editor’s Note
Close Relations between Japan and Thailand
I am honored to write to readers of Asia Pacific Plant Management for the first time. The magazine has travelled a long journey and has already reached its 100th issue which you are now holding. During our journey, many things have changed but our intention has always been to provide the best content and updated information and these still remain the same and are even getting better as well as our relationship with our readers.
I have recently heard sad news that a Thai female elephant staying in Japan since 1949 had passed away. Hanako was sent as a gift from Thailand to Japan after the end of World War II to heal the hearts of Japanese children. She did her best and became the most loved elephant in Japan. Hanako existed in many children’s books and TV series making her a popular attraction at the zoo. Her quiet death has very much saddened the people of both Thailand and Japan because she had been Thailand’s goodwill ambassador to Japan for a very long time. However, the relationship between Thailand and Japan is still strong.
Japan and Thailand have been maintaining a long cordial relationship since the 15th century during the age of Ayudhaya and Ryukyu (Okinawa). This relation began to decline when Japan had a policy closing the country to the outside world but was recovered with the Declaration of Amity and Commerce between Japan and Siam in 1887. The Japanese knowledge of law, education and sericulture had contributed greatly to Thailand and made it more modernized. In 2007, Japan and Thailand celebrated the 120th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with many memorial cultural events.
The close relation between two countries includes economic terms. Also in 2007, a Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA) was signed with the purpose of free trade between the two countries. The removal of tariffs between Thailand and Japan has greatly affected the Thai manufacturing sector expanding GDP and domestic consumption. According to Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida during his visit in May, he aimed to reaffirm economic ties after Japanese investments in Thailand slowed down last year. “Thailand is a stakeholder that Japan cannot be without having as many big and medium-sized Japanese firms with over 4,500 companies that are based here.” Japan still came on top in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Thailand last year with total investments approved valued at more than 144 billion baht ($4.13 billion).
Close relation between Japan and Thailand has continued to grow in many ways in terms of culture, tourism and technology among other attributes. Asia Pacific Plant Management also strives to grow with the strong connection between both countries providing essential information for readers as solid as Thai and Japanese relations.