TOKYO (AP) — Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra says his trip to Japan is a personal mission to offer moral support to disaster-stricken Japan, which helped his own country recover from a massive tsunami in 2004, when he was in power.
Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 military coup and is now a fugitive, convicted of charges he says were politically motivated. He has been living in self-imposed exile abroad to avoid a jail term.
He told reporters Tuesday that he has no plans to return to Thailand, where his sister Yingluck Shinawatra was recently elected prime minister.
Japanese officials said Tokyo granted Thaksin a visa after receiving a request for assistance from the Thai government.
Thaksin said his sister had “nothing to do” with his trip to Japan.
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