Japan set to waive Myanmar’s remaining ¥200 billion debt

Kyodo

The government is arranging to waive approximately ¥200 billion that Myanmar still owes Japan and offer around ¥100 billion in aid, following a bilateral accord in April 2012 to forgive about ¥300 billion, according to sources.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to announce the debt waiver and new official development assistance plan during talks with President Thein Sein in Naypyitaw, the capital of Myanmar, on Sunday, the government sources said Thursday.

Japan announced in April last year that of the approximately ¥500 billion owed by Myanmar in delayed repayment of past loans, Tokyo would forgive about ¥300 billion, becoming the first creditor country to make such a move.

The two countries agreed that the remaining ¥200 billion would also be wiped away after one year on condition that Myanmar continued its reform efforts. The accord was reached between then-Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Thein Sein in Tokyo.

Abe left Friday on a three-day visit to Myanmar. During his trip, the first to the country by a Japanese prime minister in 36 years, he is expected to pledge Japan’s support for economic reforms and democratization through official development assistance.

Accompanied on the trip by officials from around 40 companies, Abe is also keen to secure contracts for infrastructure development projects.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Thursday that Abe and Thein Sein will likely discuss the transfer of Japan’s technology and knowhow to Myanmar to promote infrastructure development and sustainable growth in the developing country.