Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly plans to visit Myanmar in late May. The last time a Japanese prime minister visited the county was in 1977 when Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda visited then Burma.

Mr. Abe should consider what kinds of concrete contributions he should make to help advance democratization in Myanmar. His planned visit follows the recent visit to Japan by Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Myanmar's largest opposition party, the National League for Democracy. She left Japan April 19 after a week's stay.

Mr. Abe will also try to deepen economic relations between Japan and Myanmar by helping improve the country's infrastructure through official development assistance. One of the purposes of Japan's move is to counter China's growing influence in the country. While this strategic approach is important, Japan needs to make sure that infrastructure construction will lead to enhancement of people's lives in the country.