11 July 2024

Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara will soon visit Japan to hold talks regarding reports that Japan may cancel the visa-free privilege for Thai travelers due to the increasing number of Thais overstaying their allowed time.

He said today that, while he is concerned about the reports, Japan has the right to revoke the visa exemption for Thais if many of them break their laws, in the same way as Thailand revokes the visas of foreign tourists who do so when in Thailand.

As far as he knows, the foreign minister said, only a handful of Thais have broken the law while in Japan and he will ask his Japanese counterpart not to cancel visa exemption for Thai travellers.

Regarding the European Union’s Schengen visa, the foreign minister said that talks are still under way and he has no idea how long it will take for an agreement to be reached. He did say, though, that he is confident that agreement will be reached within the term of the Srettha administration.

Parnpree also said that he believes the last eight Thai hostages held by Hamas in Gaza may be returned, after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on a ceasefire in Gaza on Monday.

He said that at least three of the remaining hostages are believed to still be alive and have been sighted.