June 01, 2015

New Coin Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Laos-Japan Diplomatic Relations

By Michael Alexander, Coin Update, March 12 2015

The Bank of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic have announced a new commemorative coin which celebrates the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Laotian government of the day and Japan.

A former French protectorate in Southeast Asia and previously known as French-Indochina along with Vietnam and Cambodia since 1893, the kingdom of Laos proclaimed its independence from France in 1949 which was officially recognized in 1953, subsequently the French Indochina federation ended in 1954. Laos became an independent kingdom with its ruler King Sisavang Vong (1884 – 1959) presiding over the government of Laos until his death in 1959. Sisavang Vong was succeeded by his son Sisavang Vatthana (1907 – 1978?) who ruled until 1975 when he was prompted to abdicate by Pathet Lao forces. He and many members his family were interred in a “re-education” camp and it is not clear when he died though it is believed to be 1978 or as late as 1984. The new Pathet Lao government renamed the country the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on the 2nd December 1975.

Diplomatic relations were established with Japan, one of the first countries to recognize the Laotian kingdom on the 5th March 1955 at which time Laos opened an embassy in Tokyo in October 1956, Japan opened their embassy in Vientiane, the Laotian capital in September 1955. Today, Laos has established relations with 134 countries and the European Union. To mark this anniversary, H. E. Mr. Thongsing Thammavong, Prime Minister of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, recently paid an Official Working Visit to Japan from the 4th to the 7th March.

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