In May 2022, Japan and Thailand signed an agreement for the mutual transfer of defense equipment and technology. This milestone increases the two nations’ security cooperation in the midst of an assertive China in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Thai Prime Minister highlighted that the pact will help promote Japanese investment in the Thai defense industry. Japan already has such deals with other countries in the region, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Thailand boasts one of Southeast Asia’s biggest and most equipped armies and a long history of ties with the United States military. The new defense pact with Japan is being interpreted as a move by Thailand to come closer to the orbit of the United States in the context of its rivalry with China, given that Japan is a key ally of the United States.
South East Asia is also a key region for Japan, hosting some of its biggest names in the industry, from infrastructure, engineering, and industrial zones to the manufacturing of vehicles and electronics.
(Sources: The Japan Times; CNN)