• Kyodo


Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday expressed the government’s support for a smooth transfer of power in Myanmar, telling a close aide of Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi she should visit Japan soon.

Kishida’s invitation, extended via Nyan Win, a spokesman for the National League for Democracy, comes amid efforts by the government to cooperate closely with the new NLD leadership. The party this month scored a landslide election victory, ending decades of military rule in Myanmar.

Nyan Win told Kishida he will pass the invitation to Suu Kyi when he returns to Myanmar.

Last week, Yohei Sasakawa, the government’s special envoy for national reconciliation in Myanmar, met with a top NLD member and handed over a letter from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe inviting Suu Kyi to visit Japan, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

Meeting Nyan Win at his office, Kishida congratulated the NLD on its victory in the historic election on Nov. 8 and vowed that Japan will “fully cooperate, both at the government and private-sector level, for the stability and prosperity of Myanmar.”

“Our country welcomes progress in Myanmar’s democratization. Stability of the government is essential for Myanmar’s peace and prosperity,” Kishida said.

Taking into consideration the formation of Myanmar’s new government in spring next year, he said Japan plans to be actively engaged in efforts for the smooth transfer of power. Nyan Win said his party will take steps toward that goal.

At a time when Myanmar is faced with many challenges, Nyan Win, one of Suu Kyi’s most trusted officials and a senior member of the NLD, said he welcomes Japan’s assistance in his country’s development.

“Japanese investment and technology is important for future nation-building efforts,” said Nyan Win, who is in Japan on a weeklong visit from Friday at the invitation of the Foreign Ministry.

The NLD’s victory in Myanmar’s first fully democratic election in decades gives the party a majority in parliament and ends decades of military-backed rule. Myanmar is often dubbed “Asia’s last frontier” due to its cheap labor force and ample natural resources.

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