Japan-Myanmar Relations

November 14, 2017

On November 14, commencing from 5:18 p.m. (local time) for approximately 15 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who is visiting the Philippines to attend the ASEAN-related Summit Meetings, met with H.E. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. The overview is as follows.

1. Opening Remarks

At the outset, Prime Minister Abe expressed his pleasure to meet State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi again for the first time since her visit to Tokyo in November 2016. He noted that Japan will continue to provide its full support by bringing together public and private sectors as Myanmar is facing various challenges as it engages in building a democratic nation.

2. Bilateral Relationship

Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan seeks to accelerate specific cooperation focusing on development of Yangon, transportation and electricity. He announced that Japan will extend 125 billion yen in cooperation for various projects, including the Yangon-Mandalay railway, agricultural income improvement, SME financing, housing finance, and assistance to ethnic minorities’ areas. Prime Minister Abe expressed serious concerns over the situation in Rakhine State and expressed the expectation for restoration of security in accordance with the law, restoration of humanitarian access and return of displace persons. He stated that Japan is ready to provide its maximum support to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s efforts to improve the situation.

In response, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi expressed her pleasure to meet with Prime Minister Abe again and also her appreciation for the various forms of cooperation extended by Japan. She noted that the humanitarian assistance and assistance for roads and electricity, would contribute to peace and stability in Rakhine State.

3. Cooperation in Regional and International Arena

The two leaders also engaged in an exchange of views on regional and international issues. Prime Minister Abe emphasized the importance of placing pressure on North Korea in response to its nuclear and missile development and requested understanding and cooperation for the early resolution of the abductions issue.

In response, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi stated that Myanmar supports Japan’s stance on North Korea and the abductions issue.

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