Japanese Foreign Minister: Peace and stability in Rakhine State is very important for the success of building democracy in Myanmar

State Counsellor: A government has to take all different views into consideration, but outside personnel have options to hold a view as they like

State Counsellor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Daw Aung San Suu Kyi holding a joint press conference with Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Mr. Taro Kono yesterday. Photo: MNA
State Counsellor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Daw Aung San Suu Kyi holding a joint press conference with Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Mr. Taro Kono yesterday. Photo: MNA

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a joint press conference following their meeting yesterday.
At the beginning of the press conference, Mr. Taro Kono expressed his sympathy to Myanmar’s recent flood victims, disclosing Japanese government’s approach to donate water tanks and tents to the victims.
Mr. Taro Kono also expressed thanks to President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for extending their heartfelt sympathy, on behalf of the Myanmar people, over the flood in western part of Japan.
The Japanese Foreign Minister also reaffirmed the Japanese government’s pledge, during his previous visit to Myanmar in July, to provide assistance to the civic development in Yangon, transportation and electrification sectors, saying that Japanese government is taking steps to ensure the aid programs.
Mr. Taro Kono also disclosed that at the talks, the two sides exchanged valuable views over the Rakhine issue, saying that peace and stability in Rakhine State is very important for the success of building democracy in Myanmar.
Mr. Taro Kono said that the government of Japan praised the Myanmar’s government for the formation of an independent panel to investigate into alleged human rights abuses and for signing agreements with the UN agencies to work in Rakhine State.
The Japanese Foreign Minister also said that he asked the Myanmar government to ensure transparency and openness in the investigation, to create an environment in which the displaced people can resettle, and to make efforts for closing internally displaced persons’ camps.
He continued to say that the Japanese government, joining hands with Myanmar people, will work together with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to resolve the Rakhine issue.
Annual arrivals from Japan to Myanmar reached over 100,000 in 2016, while the population of Myanmar residents in Japan reached over 20,000 in 2017.
Mr. Taro Kono said Japan and Mekong region countries, including Myanmar, will discuss undertakings for cooperation in strengthening relations among peoples and multi-sectors at the Mekong-Japan Summit, which is slated to be held on 9 October.
He also expressed his hope that State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will attend the Mekong-Japan Summit, which would also give an opportunity for promoting the relations between Japan and Myanmar.
Speaking to journalists, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi praised the talks in which the two sides discussed openly, expressing her belief that the talks would benefit both countries.
She also called Japan and Myanmar as countries “living the same lives”, where experiences faced by the two countries are nearly the same.
The State Counsellor also expressed thanks to Japan for sending aid to the flood victims in Myanmar, saying that the two countries face similar challenges of disasters, which make them closer, though Japan is a developed country and Myanmar is a developing one.
Regarding the Rakhine issue, which the two sides discussed at the talks, she said Japan discussed the Rakhine issue as a good friend taking approach on how it can help Myanmar and how it can help resolving the issue.
She also expressed her hope that the two countries would bring constructive results in resolving not only current issues but also global issues through cooperation.
She also expressed her delight for the opportunity to visit Japan in October, pledging to strengthen the bilateral friendship during the October visit.
Asked about strengthening the cooperation between Japan and Myanmar, the State Counsellor stressed the need to promote the cooperation both physically and spiritually.
She thanked Japan’s physical help in development sectors, adding that Myanmar is keeping alive the hope that it could help Japan physically some day in future.
Regarding the spiritual help, she highlighted the importance of understanding and friendship between the peoples of the two countries.
The State Counsellor also called for more closer contacts between youths from Japan and Myanmar and to retain the genuine friendship between the previous generation of the two countries, saying that there are many true friends between the peoples of Japan and Myanmar.

She pinned high hopes on increasing the number of visitors between the two countries to strengthen the genuine friendship between the peoples.
Regarding Japan’s aid for development of Rakhine State, Japanese Foreign Minister Mr. Taro Kono pledged that the government of Japan would support the State Counsellor, who is taking a leading role in the development of Rakhine State, and for the undertakings of the Myanmar government.
Mr. Taro Kono said Japan would urge the Myanmar government to carry out resettlement of displaced peoples, adding that Japan would provide aid for construction of roads for trains and motor vehicles, electrification and building schools in Rakhine State, with the aim of reducing poverty and promoting socio-economic life of the peoples in Rakhine State.
“We assume that peace and stability and development in Rakhine is important for establishing democracy in Myanmar,” Mr. Taro Kono said.
Asked about Myanmar government’s plans for repatriation of displaced peoples, the State Counsellor said the question focused both short-term and long-term issues being carried out by the government.
Both are included in the Dr. Kofi Annan’s report and handled by the government, she said, clarifying that citizenship is a long-term issue.
Out of 88 points proposed by the Dr. Kofi Annan’s commission, over 80 have been implemented through cooperation and the remaining six to seven points are being implemented through step-by-step approach, as they are considered long-term issues mentioned in the commission’s report.
A citizenship issue of a country needs to be settled through step-by-step approach, she said.
She recounted that the first terrorist attacks happened before the government’s central committee for the rule of law and development in Rakhine State, formed in May 2016, could start its work.
A government has to listen to different views and voices and has to take all different views into consideration, but personnel outside a country have options to hold a view as they like, she said.
The independent investigation commission would be given exclusive rights to carry out its work, she said, adding that members of the commission are qualified.
She expressed her hope that other friendly countries, including Japan, would offer technical assistance to the commission.
Asked about the stance of Japan on the situation in Rakhine State, Mr. Taro Kono said Rakhine issue is very deep and complicated. Japan would provide aid not only for human rights and humanitarian assistance but also for reducing poverty in the state.
He continued to say that State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is taking firm steps to resolve the Rakhine issue, but, at the same time, other voices are demanding to take quick steps to resolve the issue.
But steps, including bringing harmony between the two communities in Rakhine State, need to be firm in the long-run, he added. The government of Japan will work together with Myanmar government, which is trying to resolve difficult issues, and will explain Myanmar’s efforts to the international community.
The government of Japan values the Myanmar government’s taking steps in realizing Japan’s demand to cooperate with UN in issues, such as an independent investigation into issues in Rakhine State.— Myanmar News Agency

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