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A consortium of private Japanese firms and a Japanese state entity paid rent on a multimillion dollar hotel and office development that ultimately went to Myanmar’s Defense Ministry, six company and government officials told Reuters.

It is the first time Japan has acknowledged the project benefits Myanmar’s Defense Ministry, which is controlled by the military under the country’s constitution. The payments, starting in 2017, are not illegal but are potentially embarrassing for Japan given United Nations investigators have alleged human rights abuses by Myanmar’s military. Reuters could not determine how much rent was actually paid to the Defense Ministry.

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