• Kyodo

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Most employees of Japanese companies in Myanmar want Japan to impose some form of economic sanctions against the military-led government that forcibly took over the country three months ago, according to a new survey.

The results of the online survey, conducted by Japanese who operate businesses in Myanmar, showed that 95.2% of the 145 respondents favored such sanctions, while 89.7% agreed with Japan’s suspension of official development assistance (ODA).

Of the respondents, 97.9% supported the so-called “civil disobedience movement” of striking workers from various sectors who have left work to show their displeasure at the resumption of military rule after a decade of slow progress toward democracy.

The Japanese government has been cautious about economic sanctions. No new ODA has been implemented since the Feb. 1 coup, but aid projects that started before then are still ongoing.

Most of the survey’s respondents were under the age of 40 and about 80% of them were women.

Their reasons for wanting the ODA suspension included “I don’t think Japan’s support will reach” intended recipients and “funds will flow to military-run companies.”

Asked about their expectations of the Japanese government, most respondents sought the start of official dialogue with the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, a group mostly comprising members of the National League for Democracy that was ousted from power.

A similar survey was conducted on Japanese people associated with Japanese companies in Myanmar.

Of those 135 respondents, 86.7% agreed that Tokyo should impose economic sanctions, while 57.8% felt it should continue dialogue with the junta.

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