Pavin Chachavalpongpun is a former diplomat and an academic at Kyoto University in Japan, where he is an associate professor. Following the 2014 military coup he was charged with lese majeste, although PPT is unable to determine the exact date of the charge. We may be wrong, but the first reference to the charge may be in a Khaosod article of 20 July 2015.
Following the coup, he was summoned twice by the junta for his criticisms of the military. Pavin stated at the time: “I rejected the call and as a consequence, the junta issued a warrant for my arrest. Shortly afterwards, my passport was revoked and this forced me to apply for refugee status with the Japanese government…”.
In the article mentioned above, Justice Minister General Paiboon Khumchaya told reporters he raised the issue of Pavin’s exile in Japan during a meeting with new Japanese ambassador Shiro Sadoshima. He asked the ambassador to “reconsider” whether it is appropriate for Japan to shelter an academic charged with lese majeste.
General Paiboon stated: “I provided the Japanese ambassador with a list of suspects who have fled to Japan…. The list contains one name, which is Mr. Pavin Chachavalpongpun.” He says he did not request the Japanese government arrest and extradite Pavin, but asked that Japanese authorities “review the situation.”
Media accounts of Pavin’s case:
Khaosod, 20 July 2015: “Thai Govt Asks Japan to Reconsider Housing Exiled Academic”