Japan finalising plans to halt fresh aid to Myanmar, says report
Japan has enjoyed good relations with Myanmar and has not taken hard stance so far against the military junta after February 1 coup
In light of the military coup in Myanmar, Japan is finalising plans to halt new development aid to the country reported Asahi Shimbun daily. This has come amid international pressure on Myanmar military junta to restore democracy in the country. Western countries are imposing sanctions on Myanmar as well.
Citing multiple government sources, the newspaper said the Japanese government would refrain from calling the suspension of Official Development Assistance (ODA) a "sanction" and would try to persuade the military junta to reach a democratic solution through dialogue.
Asked about the report, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said "there was no truth to the report," but left open the possibility of a change in policy.
"Regarding economic assistance for Myanmar, we will carefully monitor the situation without prejudice and consider (the options)," Kato told a news conference.
Japan has enjoyed good relations with Myanmar and has not taken hard stance against the military junta after February 1 coup. The coup toppled civilian government headed bu Aung San Suu Kyi.
Tokyo is a major donor to Myanmar and Japan's largest companies have been particularly aggressive in expanding business there in recent years, seeing it as Southeast Asia's last major frontier market. Japan also fears pushing Myanmar closer to China if it weakens its ties.
(With Reuters inputs)