Monday, March 10, 2014

Japanese Ambassador to US Slanders China on neglecting democracy and human rights


Myanmar is chairing  ASEAN for the first time in 2014. Myanmar Ambassador to US, Kyaw Myo Htut commented in Washington on the 25th that all ASEAN members emphasize the importance of maritime and air freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. On the same day, Japanese ambassador to US, Kenichiro SASAE criticized China for neglecting local democracy and human rights in developing economic and trade ties with Myanmar.

Both the  Myanmar and the Japanese ambassadors delivered speeches at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on the strategic development and support Japan provides to Myanmar. The Myanmar Ambassador welcomed investment and trade from Japan and US. This past January, Myanmar as the chair of ASEAN, hosted the informal ASEAN foreign minister meeting, in which freedom of navigation in the sea and airspace was the focus.

Myanmar Ambassador to US, Kyaw Myo Htut said the issue of the South China Sea has been a focus: on this issue, ASEAN foreign ministers explained basic principles, emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and stability, maritime safety, freedom of navigation both in the sea and in the airspace.

When he visited the country in 2013, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit Myanmar in 36 years.  He promised to provide $610 million worth of assistance to Myanmar. Sasae said that investment and assistance from Japan was not aimed at competing with China, but at the same time, China should not monopolize  commercial and investment ties with Myanmar, but allow Japan, US, India and others to participate actively, as well.

Sasae also pointed out that Japan engages Myanmar in a different way. He indirectly criticized China for neglecting Myanmar’s democracy and human rights while developing economic and trade ties.
Sasae: I think Japan seems to have a different position from China, but countries like Myanmar should understand the need to promote human rights and democracy while it develops its economy.