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Some 100 Myanmar diplomats supporting a civil disobedience movement in opposition to the Feb. 1 coup have been ordered home by the junta, Kyodo reports, citing a leaked document.

Among them are Aung Soe Moe, formerly first secretary at Myanmar’s Tokyo embassy, and a colleague, both of whom were dismissed after boycotting their duties to protest the coup and announced their stand on Facebook.

“Japan is a longtime provider of development aid to Myanmar, which we appreciate. But people in Myanmar and Myanmar citizens in Japan are concerned that such aid may be diverted to fund the Tatmadaw,” Aung Soe Moe told Kyodo, referring to the armed forces. “They would also like the Japanese government to cut ties with military-linked businesses in Myanmar.”

Myanmar residents in Japan stage an anti-coup rally in Tokyo on May 2. | KYODO
Myanmar residents in Japan stage an anti-coup rally in Tokyo on May 2. | KYODO

Japan and its companies face another ethical minefield as they navigate relations with Beijing, particularly as the U.S. moves to sanction firms that profit off Uighur forced labor.

Bloomberg reports that U.S. customs blocked a shipment of Uniqlo shirts in January over this very issue. At the same time, Uniqlo and Muji have been targeted by Chinese consumers in a boycott for their comments on the topic.

No wonder, then, that Japan’s ruling party wants to set up an agency to aid companies that find themselves caught up in this and other China-U.S. trade battles.

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