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Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006

Government 'concerned' by Thai coup


Staff writer

Japan on Wednesday called the coup d'etat in Thailand "regrettable" and expressed strong hope that a democratic political system will be quickly restored to the country.

Tokyo is "closely watching the development of the situation with grave concerns," Foreign Minister Taro Aso said in a statement.

According to the Japanese Embassy, there were 36,327 registered Japanese living in Thailand as of last October, 26,991 of whom were in Bangkok.

Thailand is a major manufacturing base for many Japanese companies, and 1,252 of them belong to the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Bangkok.

In Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon, Foreign Ministry officials said the situation in Bangkok appeared stable and that there were no reports of violence or impending danger for Japanese nationals.

However, the ministry still issued a travel advisory urging people to cancel unimportant trips to the capital and warning them not to approach the palace, prime minister's office or other government buildings and places where soldiers or large groups of people had gathered.

"Please stay at a safe place such as at home or your hotel and try to gather information, just in case" the situation changes, reads the advisory on the ministry's Web site.



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The Japan Times

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