Abe seeks Japan's bigger role in infrastructure projects in Thailand

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday expressed hope that Japanese companies will play larger roles in infrastructure development in Thailand, when he met with his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra.

Abe is promoting Japanese exports of infrastructure such as atomic power plants and medical and railway systems to the developing world as a main pillar of his strategy for economic growth.

"Infrastructure development will benefit both countries. (Japan) wants to contribute to it proactively," Abe told Yingluck in reference to planned high-speed railway services in Thailand, according to the Japanese government. Yingluck appreciated Japan's offer of cooperation.

Yingluck called for Japan's participation in a special economic zone in southern Myanmar that Thailand aims to set up in cooperation with the neighboring Southeast Asian country. Abe responded by underscoring the need for working-level talks.

The two leaders, who met for the second time following talks in January in Bangkok, also confirmed their policy of enhancing the security partnership between Japan and Thailand.

The meeting came amid tensions in the Asia-Pacific region over North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions as well as China's growing maritime assertiveness.