Nearly two weeks after he was taken from his home in Yangon by security forces, journalist Yuki Kitazumi is still being held in the city’s notorious Insein prison, accused of spreading “fake news” in his coverage of the bloody aftermath of February’s coup.

Tokyo’s ambassador to Myanmar spoke with the reporter by phone Friday and confirmed he’s in good health. The embassy echoed the government’s call last week for Kitazumi to be freed.

Hundreds of protesters have been killed by security forces over the last two months. What can Japan possibly do to help end the bloodshed and restore the democratically elected government?

Japan seeks release of journalist detained in Yangon [April 19] | CNA
Japan seeks release of journalist detained in Yangon [April 19] | CNA

Japan’s economic and diplomatic clout in the country should be leveraged to dissuade the military from further violence and to check against Beijing’s interference in Myanmar, argues Yoichiro Sato.

Columnist Satohiro Akimoto warns against joining the rush to sanctions, offering instead a four-track strategy for Tokyo to employ in concert with players such as ASEAN, the U.S. and China.

In a sign of how deeply involved Japan is in the country, Kyodo reports that a Japanese public-private fund has poured ¥17.7 billion into infrastructure projects in Myanmar — much of which looks like a write-off, given that the investments weren’t insured against losses resulting from political risks.