Japan on Monday condemned the use of deadly force by Myanmar security forces against protesters of last month’s military coup.
At least 18 protesters were killed and over 30 wounded on Sunday as live ammunition was reportedly fired into crowds in a half dozen cities across the country, including Yangon, according to the U.N. Human Rights Office.
“The use of force against peaceful protesters is unacceptable, and we strongly urge Myanmar security forces to immediately stop the violence against civilians,” the government’s top spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, told a news conference Monday.
Myanmar’s military seized power and declared a yearlong state of emergency on Feb. 1, detaining State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other members of the ruling National League for Democracy.
The coup followed a landslide victory by the NLD in the November general election, the results of which the military has disputed as fraudulent.
Regarding whether Japan would impose sanctions on Myanmar over the military coup, including by withholding financial aid, Kato said the government is “closely watching the situation” and considering its options.
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