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Yingluck meets prince, visits tsunami-ravaged northeast

Posted by arnon_k On March - 9 - 2012

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra met Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito yesterday and wished his father Emperor Akihito, who underwent heart bypass surgery last month, a speedy recovery.

The prince thanked Ms Yingluck for her concern and for her planned visit to a tsunami-hit city in northeast Japan, the Imperial Household Agency said.

Ms Yingluck later went to Natori City in Miyagi prefecture to offer condolences and support for those affected by the March 11, 2010 earthquake and tsunami.

While there, the prime minister laid a wreath and observed a minute’s silence for the people who died in the tragedy.

Ms Yingluck also met about 100 Thai employees of Japanese firms, whose factories were affected by flooding in Thailand last year.

The Thai workers are working in Japan until the flood-ravaged factories are operational again.

She later visited a shelter for disaster victims in Medeshima to offer them moral support.

Ms Yingluck’s four-day visit to Japan is aimed at regaining investor confidence after flooding in Thailand last year.

However, Eleanor Warnock, writing in a blog for the Wall Street Journal said Ms Yingluck’s speech in Thai to the Japan Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday left many executives bemused.

For seven minutes, Ms Yingluck spoke to the hundred-strong audience without any accompanying translation, leaving many of the attending business leaders wondering quite what she was talking about, Ms Warnock wrote.

Delegates were handed a copy of her speech notes, translated into Japanese, but she chose to speak in Thai rather than in English.

Ms Yingluck then left the room in silence, smiling and bowing as she went.

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