私は、日本タイ親善友好協会会長として8月24日、来日中のタイのタクシン・シナワット(Thaksin Shinawatra)元首相の歓迎夕食会を主催いたしました。超党派の国会議員約30名、タイに現地法人を有する財界人約10名が参加いたしました。
   タイでは7月の総選挙で、実妹のインラック・シナワット(Yingluck Shinawatra)首相が率いるタクシン派が勝利し、新政権がこのほど発足、元首相は新政権を「後方支援」する形で、欧州やアジアなど海外で活発に活動しており、夕食会の席上、日本とタイの経済連携協定(EPA)を最大限活用するため、両国政府が共通戦略を議論する合同委員会の設置を提案されました。実妹のインラック新政権は、2006年の軍事クーデターで元首相が追放されて以降、タイ国内での政治の混乱が続いておりますが、「新政権は国民和解を前進させる。1年以内に政治、経済の両面で大きな変化が生まれるだろう」と話され、政治の安定と国内経済の回復を目指す新政権の政策をアピールし、日本側に理解を求め日本との経済連携を促進させることを強調されました。


Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests. I am Hajime Ishii, Vice President of the Democratic Party of Japan. It gives me great pleasure to address you all on behalf of the many Japanese Diet members who have gathered here today.
This week, for the first time in two years, the former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, the Honorable Thaksin Shinawatra, is paying a visit to Japan. In addition to a schedule of official visits here in Tokyo, the Hon. Thaksin will also make a visit to the cities of Sendai and Ishinomaki, which lie in the area affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
Thailand is one of the leading nations in South-East Asia, and has enjoyed friendly relations with Japan stretching back over many years. Japan is the number one trading partner, investor and aid provider to Thailand, and so we share an extremely significant bilateral relationship. We must continue to further maintain and develop our friendly relations.
The Pheu Thai party won a decisive victory in the Thai general elections held this July, realizing a change of government. I would like to express my sincere congratulations on the birth of the Yingluck government. I hope that the Hon. Thaksin will be able to fulfill his political goals, by playing a significant role in the new government.
The Japan-Thai Parliamentary Friendship League has a long history, but it has not been very active in recent years. I would like to take the opportunity presented to us by the Hon. Thaksin’s visit to Japan to rebuild the League and work toward strengthening the friendship between our two nations. The Diet members present here today are also committed to actively participating in this process.
The Hon. Thaksin’s visit to Japan on this occasion is very significant in this regard. I would like to end my welcome address by expressing the sincere hope that Your Excellency will be able to make an even greater contribution to Thai politics in future years.