Thai Fugitive Ex-PM Visits Japan

Posted August 22nd, 2011 at 7:40 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Thailand's fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has arrived in Japan with an offer to assist in the reconstruction of the country's earthquake and tsunami-damaged northeastern coast.

Mr. Thaksin, a former telecommunications tycoon ousted from office in a 2006 coup, told Japan's Kyodo news agency he will visit areas devastated by the March 11 twin disasters during his week-long stay. He is also expected to address foreign correspondents and meet with lawmakers and business leaders.

Mr. Thaksin resides in Dubai, where he has lived in exile since 2008 to avoid a two-year prison term for abuse of power in his homeland.

Japan says it issued Thaksin a special entry permit after the new Thai government led by Mr. Thaksin's younger sister Yingluck Shinawatra asked Tokyo to allow him to visit.

Last week, Thai opposition leaders who were in power at the time of Mr. Thaksin's conviction threatened legal action against the Thai foreign minister for asking Japan for the visa. They said the new government is legally bound to continue seeking Mr. Thaksin's arrest and extradition.