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Japan continues dialogue with Myanmar military

  • March 26, 2021
  • , Asahi , p. 2
  • JMH Translation

By Ryutaro Abe

 

While the United States and the European Union move to impose sanctions on the Myanmar (Burmese) military, the Japanese government continues the path of dialogue even after the coup d’état. The Japanese Ambassador to Myanmar Ichiro Maruyama has led Japan’s efforts to call on Myanmar’s top military brass and others to stop using violence.

 

“Our approach differs from the West’s, but other nations are depending on us as a result,” comments a high-ranking official at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The dialogue has yet to produce concrete results, however.

 

At an Upper House Budget Committee meeting on March 19, an opposition party lawmaker said that there are “rumors” that the Japanese government will dispatch military attachés stationed in Myanmar to the nation’s Armed Forces Day ceremony scheduled for March 27. “I would like to see you stop dispensing wrong information,” countered Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. “Japan has no intention of sending any embassy personnel or others affiliated with Japan [to the ceremony].” According to the Foreign Ministry, Japan usually sends embassy personnel to the ceremony, but it has canceled such participation this time.

 

As the Myanmar military’s crackdown on civilians escalates, there is an increasing sense within the Japanese government that the situation has reached a deadlock. “The only thing we can do is to continue to focus on dialogue with the military,” commented a high-ranking government official.

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