World / Asia-Pacific

Thailand, Japan sign MoI on railway cooperation

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-02-10 16:42

Thailand, Japan sign MoI on railway cooperation

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (L) and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands before their meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo February 9, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

BANGKOK - Thailand and Japan have signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) on cooperation in developing Thailand's rail system, said a statement posted on the Thai government's site Tuesday.

The two countries have signed the MoI "on the study and development of 3 rail routes (urgent phase) in Thailand which would connect both East-West and North-South Economic Corridors," the statement said.

The document was signed in Japan, witnessed by visiting Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

Prayut left for Japan on Sunday and is scheduled to return to Thailand on Tuesday evening.

On Tuesday morning, Prayut was briefed on Japan's rail routes and rail system development at Tokyo Station and then visited Shinkansen Control Center at the station before taking on a Shinkansen ride to Osaka, according to the statement.

Thailand has planned to develop 1.435-meter rail tracks at an initial stage, while Shinkansen will be a future option, Prayut was quoted by the statement as saying.

While in Japan, Prayut and Abe also talked about Dawei Special Economic Zone in Myanmar, which is the largest economic project in Southeast Asia to connect the Greater Mekong Sub-region with South Asia, the statement said.

Special economic zones along the border areas adjacent to Thailand's four neighboring countries were also discussed.

"These projects would provide great economic opportunity to the Japanese private sector with Thailand as production base, connecting point, and product distribution hub of the region," it said.

On Thailand's political situation, Prayut said in Japan that the constitutional drafting process is about to complete, and a general election is expected to be held early next year.

Prayut ensured that Thailand has been making its utmost effort in resolving problems in a comprehensive manner, and would soon become a country with sustainable and strong democracy, the statement said.

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