Thai expats, tourists 'must obey laws'

The Foreign Ministry on Thursday appealled to all Thais to respect the laws of other countries in which they are living or travelling in the wake of the death of two Japanese students killed by a drunk Thai driver.

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Three Thai nationals were arrested after the car in which they were travelling collided with two Japanese student cyclists in Chiba prefecture on the night of Aug 14. The crash killed an 18-year-old male student at the scene and left a 20-year-old female student in critical condition.  

Japanese media reported the teen girl was pronounced dead on Thursday morning, a week after the incident. Blood tests on the three Thais, one of whom was a woman, showed high alcohol levels. The male driver reportedly admitted he was drunk and did not have an international driver’s licence. 

Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee said the Thai Embassy in Tokyo had been following the matter closely. He said the incident affected the image of Thai tourists and Thai people who were living in foreign countries. 

He said the ministry called on all Thai expatriates and tourists to exercise caution and respect the laws of their host countries to avoid a repeat of any negative incident similar to that in Japan. 

Members of online communities both in Thailand and Japan condemned the incident. Some Japanese reportedly suggested their government scrap the free visa entry privilege currently granted to Thai travellers. 

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