A 28-year-old woman from Myanmar involved in her country's democracy movement said Thursday she has been granted refugee status in Japan, after applying last September citing political persecution.

Myint Myint Aye, who came to Japan in January 2019 as a technical intern, has been a vocal advocate for democracy in her country, delivering lectures and leading fundraising efforts separate from her main work.

The 2021 military coup in Myanmar that toppled the democratically elected government of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi made it difficult for Myint Myint Aye to return to her home country. In 2022, her 20-year-old brother and 55-year-old mother, who supported anti-government groups, were killed by the national army.

Visiting the Nagoya Regional Immigration Bureau in Aichi Prefecture, Aye expressed tears of joy, saying "I was overjoyed to see the immigration officials handing me the certificate as they smiled and said congratulations."

"I am determined to keep working towards a peaceful Myanmar from abroad," she added.

According to the Immigration Agency, 298 Myanmar nationals applied for refugee status in Japan in 2022, with 26 granted the same year.