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Thailand invites Japan to Asian foreign ministerial talks.

TOKYO, May 10 Kyodo

Visiting Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai on Friday invited Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi to a June 19 informal meeting of Asian foreign ministers in Thailand.

In a 30-minute meeting, Surakiart asked Kawaguchi to attend the first foreign-minister level meeting under the Asian Cooperation Dialogue project led by Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, an official at the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

Kawaguchi did not immediately accept the invitation but told Surakiart she will try to attend.

The official said it is uncertain whether she will be able to attend the meeting as it falls on the last day of the ongoing Japanese parliamentary session in which key bills are being debated.

Thailand plans to invite Japan and 16 other Asian states to the informal meeting, in which participants will discuss various topics such as economic cooperation and measures to bolster regional tourism.

The 16 other nations comprise the nine other countries belonging with Thailand in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations -- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam -- plus Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, Qatar and South Korea.

The two ministers also agreed to aim at forming a working-level dialogue framework for Japan and Thailand to discuss economic cooperation in various sectors, as well as task forces for more detailed negotiations related to each topic.

Kawaguchi and Surakiart also agreed to cooperate in antiterrorism measures as well on clamping down on drug smuggling and piracy, the official said.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:May 13, 2002
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