Suu Kyi takes in Japan’s top technologies

Kyodo

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi viewed Japanese technology firsthand Thursday, visiting 634-meter Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest broadcast tower, and Panasonic Corp.’s showroom in the Ariake area on Tokyo Bay.

Observing a model of an energy-efficient house that runs on solar power at the Panasonic showroom, Suu Kyi expressed hope of setting up affordable solar power in her country, officials at the electronics giant said.

The 67-year-old head of the National League for Democracy is on her first visit to Japan in 27 years after more than 14 years of house arrest and detainment through 2010 by the Myanmar military junta.

Her weeklong trip runs through Friday.

At Tokyo Skytree, Suu Kyi was briefed on the tower’s earthquake-proof design and got a bird’s eye view of Tokyo, the Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry, which invited the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner to Japan, said it hopes her observations of traditional culture during her stay in Kyoto on Sunday and Monday and of state-of-the-art technology in Tokyo will be helpful for Myanmar’s nation-building.

Suu Kyi, meeting with Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki, asked for Japan’s help in developing her country’s legal systems and judiciary, according to the Justice Ministry.

Tanigaki said the ministry is willing to offer assistance to the leader.

The government is thinking of supporting Myanmar’s legislature through the dispatch of Justice Ministry officials and lawyers while inviting judges and other legal experts from Myanmar for training, officials said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced active support for Myanmar’s ongoing democratization process and economic development in a meeting with Suu Kyi later Thursday.

Suu Kyi’s political party, which has led Myanmar’s efforts for democratic reform, could take power in parliamentary elections scheduled for 2015, meaning she could someday lead the government.

Abe is also keen on promoting democracy in the Southeast Asian country as a way to counter China, whose influence in Myanmar since the end of a military rule, government sources said.