Thailand: Reassuring Japan

Updated On: Feb 09, 2009

Japan prohibited exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from entering the country and has apparently placed Thakson on a blacklist.

This prohibition on Thaksin’s travel takes place before PM Abhisit went on a three-day official visit to Japan.

Thaksin, who came to power in 2001 as a popular PM with the rural north, was removed by the military in a coup on 19 Sept 2006. He had temporarily returned home in 2008.

After the Thai court jailed him to two years in prison in 2008, Thaksin was banned from entering UK where he has a home and owned the Manchester City Football Club.

He now spends most of his time in Dubai or in Hong Kong.

Thaksin remains politically explosive in Thailand where he enjoys tremendous support, especially in the north and northeast of the kingdom.

He is also the spiritual head of the Red Shirt movement which is currently campaiging for ASEAN countries to boycott the 14th Asean Summit in Hua Hin from 27 Feb 2009 to 1 March 2009.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have rallied in Bangkok in support of Thaksin Shinawatra, the ousted prime minister, demanding that the current government dissolve parliament and bring about fresh elections.

Abhisit's agenda in travelling to Japan seeks to reassure Thailand’s major investor, Japan, that Thailand has returned to normalcy after the disturbance caused by anti-government protesters where Prime Minister's office was seized for three months.

In 2008, Japanese companies invested BT103 billion in Thailand, or 35 per cent of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.


Agencies, "Thaksin supporters rally in Bangkok" dated 31 Jan 2009 in the Aljazeera website [downloaded on 9 Feb 2009], available athttp://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2009/01/20091311521392467...

Bernama, "Japan Bans Thaksin From Entering The Country" 5 Feb 2009 in the Bernama website [downloaded on 9 Feb 2009], available athttp://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=387810

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