Yomiuri wrote that the GOJ is employing “independent diplomacy” by maintaining dialogue with the military of Myanmar (Burma). The paper wrote that although Japan’s approach is different from that of the United States and European countries, which opt for imposing sanctions, the GOJ has begun reviewing its economic assistance policy toward Myanmar because there has been no sign of improvement in the situation there. Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato expressed concern over the deaths of protesters in Myanmar and stated at a press briefing on Monday that Japan strongly condemns the violence against citizens. The paper wrote that Japan is the only G7 country that continues to hold dialogue with Myanmar and that Japanese Ambassador to Myanmar Ichiro Maruyama, who is well versed in the local situation, has connections with both Aung San Suu Kyi and the military, and speaks the local language, has been playing a pivotal role in talking with the junta.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato told reporters on Monday that the use of force against peaceful protesters is unacceptable and Japan strongly urges Myanmar security forces to immediately stop the violence against civilians. The government spokesman added that Tokyo will consider what steps to take, including a review of economic assistance, while keeping a close eye on the situation in Myanmar.
In a related story, Asahi wrote that the United States, European nations, and United Nations strongly condemned the Myanmar security forces for firing on protesters, killing at least 18. Asahi and Yomiuri wrote that the United States expressed its readiness to impose additional sanctions on the Myanmar military, quoting National Security Advisor Sullivan as stressing in a statement issued on Feb. 28: “We are preparing additional actions to impose further costs on those responsible for this latest outbreak of violence and the recent coup.”