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Japan and Thailand agree to new defense deal

On Monday, the leaders of Japan and Thailand announced a new defense agreement and plans to increase their economic relations. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was just wrapping up the last leg of his three-nation tour of Southeast Asia in Thailand. Defense hardware and technology would be transferred from Japan to Thailand according to the deal. 

Thailand has one of the largest and best-equipped armies in the Southeast Asian region and historically holds ties with the United States military. The agreement will improve the national defense in Thailand and support investment from Japan. A five-year economic partnership was also discussed in the meeting, along with improving supply chains. Japan’s cabinet secretary for public affairs also announced earlier on Monday that Japan will be sending a 50 billion yen loan to Thailand to support COVID-19 mitigation measures.

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