• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told Myanmar President Thein Sein that Japan will resume yen loans to the Southeast Asian nation for the first time in 26 years, government officials said.

Noda said Japan is considering providing about ¥50 billion in yen loans because it is interested in investing in the resource-rich country, which continues to steadily pursue democratic and economic reforms, according to the officials.

During a 30-minute meeting Monday with Thein Sein on the sidelines of a series of summits involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Noda also expressed hope for an early agreement on a bilateral investment treaty, they said.

“Our country will give its full support, both from its public and private sectors, for Myanmar’s reform,” Noda was quoted by the officials as telling Thein Sein.

The new yen loan scheme to be implemented early next year is planned to cover such projects as existing thermal plant upgrades, regional development, a poverty-reduction initiative and infrastructure improvement in the Tirawa special economic zone.

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