Announcement by Myanmar military on the halt of all its military activities against ethnic armed minority organizations in Northeast Myanmar
(Statement by Foreign Minister Taro Kono)
1. On December 21 (same day in local time), the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar announced to halt, during the period starting from December 21, 2018 to April 30, 2019, all of its military activities against the ethnic armed minority organizations in Northeast Myanmar. The Government of Japan sincerely welcomes the announcement as a positive development for peace process with the ethnic minority organizations in Myanmar.
2. The Government of Japan, along with Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for National Reconciliation in Myanmar, has been urging ceasefire to both of Myanmar government and military as well as the ethnic armed minority organizations.
3. Realizing peace and reconciliation in Myanmar is also important for peace and stabilization of the Indo-Pacific region. The Government of Japan strongly expects that, building upon this halt of all military activities, armed battles will be stopped and it will lead to permanent ceasefire and peace throughout the state. The Government of Japan also expects that humanitarian access to the concerning areas will be quickly ensured in order to improve humanitarian conditions.
4. The Government of Japan, in collaboration with Japanese NGOs such as Nippon Foundation, has implemented reconstruction and development assistance including building housings, schools and health facilities, and has provided technical assistance in agricultural field and electrification of households for people affected by the conflicts in Mon Sate and Karen State where the ceasefire has already been achieved. The Government of Japan will continue to implement its aid programs steadily in the aim of making more people gain the “fruit of peace”.