(From Reuters)

Japan wants to work with countries in the lower Mekong river basin and will help them improve infrastructure and bolster development with 750 billion yen ($7 billion) in aid over three years, its foreign minister said on Monday.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (R) meets with Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida in Bangkok on Monday

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida made the pledge to help the Southeast Asian economies in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, where on Sunday he began a week-long visit to the region in which Japan competes with China for influence.

“Japan would like to work with the countries of the Mekong region to create a framework to support efforts by the Mekong countries in a detailed manner, on a region-by-region basis or on a theme-by-theme basis,” Kishida said in a speech.

Japan announced the three-year plan last year. Read More

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