First there were just two. The Japanese government will allow a pair of Myanmar diplomats in Tokyo, fired by their country’s junta for joining the anti-coup movement, to remain in Japan after their credentials expire, Kyodo reported May 27.
Then, many, many more got a reprieve. The following day, the Justice Ministry said it would allow residents from Myanmar to extend their visas for an additional six months as an emergency measure due to the unrest following the February coup.
And on Tuesday, Japan’s Lower House adopted a resolution condemning the Feb. 1 coup and urging the Southeast Asian country to return to democracy.
Japan’s stance on the post-coup chaos is clear, but actions speak louder than words. Myanmar’s biggest donor has already stopped supplying new aid to the country, though it still funds existing projects. A total aid freeze could be the next step, the foreign minister suggested last month.
Japan’s apparent push for democratization in other nations is all very nice, but does the country really practice what it preaches? Raymond Yamamoto took a look at how far Japan is willing to go to promote liberal values when economic gains are at stake.