Japan announced Saturday it will provide $3.5 million (¥432 million) in emergency grant aid to support mainly Rohingya migrants from Myanmar left adrift at sea, as the plight of the thousands of boat people draws international attention.

"With regard to nonregular immigrants, including women and children trying to cross the Indian Ocean, Japan has decided to extend 3.5 million U.S. dollars through the IOM and UNHCR," Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said in a keynote speech during a one-day seminar at the United Nations University in Tokyo. IOM is the acronym for the International Organization for Migration and UNHCR refers to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

It is Japan's first financial assistance in connection with the humanitarian crisis involving Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, who have been fleeing discrimination and persecution at home.