TOKYO – Japan is concerned that Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi was handed a two-year sentence for incitement and violating coronavirus rules, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Tuesday.
“It is an undesirable move when the international community, including Japan, is seeking Myanmar’s rapid return to a democratic political system, and we are concerned,” he said at a press conference, a day after the 76-year-old was convicted and ordered to spend two years in detention in the first verdict against her since a February coup deposed the nation’s democratically elected government.
Hayashi said Japan has been demanding the “immediate suspension of violence and the release of people who have been arrested,” including Suu Kyi.
He suggested Japan will work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to improve the situation in Myanmar, which has been under military control since the coup.
Suu Kyi, who has been detained and put under house arrest after her civilian government led by the National League for Democracy was ousted, and Win Myint, president of the government she led until the coup, were both sentenced to four years in prison by the military-controlled court.
But their sentences were halved later Monday as top leader, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, granted two years amnesty to each.
Myanmar’s state TV said neither will be sent to prison, but can instead serve out their sentences at their current place of detainment.