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The aftermath of the Myanmar military coup on Feb. 1, 2021, continues to present Prime Minister Fumio Kishida with a formidable challenge, as he has identified human rights as a key diplomatic pillar yet has been unable to work out effective ways to bring about change in the Southeast Asian country.

Japan has adopted a cautious diplomatic approach with Myanmar, where over 1,500 people have been killed by the military. The United Nations estimates the political and economic turmoil likely drove almost half of the population into poverty heading into this year.

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