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Thai coup chief reportedly tries to keep Japanese investors onboard

Kyodo

Thai coup leader Prayuth Chan-Ocha has assured Japanese investors of economic stability and believes they won’t withdraw from the country, according to a military source.

The source said Prayuth met with a group of Japanese investors to tell them the economy remains stable and can continue being a hub for foreign investors, especially the Japanese, who account for more than 50 percent of Thailand’s foreign investment.

“Gen. Prayuth convinced Japanese investors on economic stability and received a positive reaction, so he believed they will not withdraw business from our country,” the source said.

The place and time of the meeting were not revealed by the source.

The coup leaders have been trying to assure the international community. Some countries are reviewing their relations with Thailand.

The Thai Foreign Ministry, now under Permanent Secretary Sihasak Phuangketkaow, has been working to placate members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Sihasak met the Vietnamese foreign minister in Hanoi on Thursday to explain the reasons behind the military takeover and to convey that Thailand wants to continue playing a leading role in ASEAN.

Sihasak said Vietnam believes Thailand will soon return to normalcy and that Vietnamese tourists will still visit the country.

Prayuth said last week that Thailand will not have a democratically elected government for at least 15 months because the junta must first secure peace and stability, promote reconciliation and usher in reforms.

He said that after calm is restored, the junta will oversee the drafting of a temporary constitution and the establishment of a national assembly and interim government to be followed eventually by a general election.

Local media have reported the coup leadership will maintain its curfews in most tourist destinations.

Junta spokesman Winthai Suwaree was quoted as saying there are no plans to lift the curfew during the World Cup in Brazil even though most matches will kick off after midnight in Thailand.