Two years have passed since the Myanmar coup. Citizens submit a joint statement “The Japanese government should restructure its policy towards Myanmar!”

Two years have passed since the Myanmar coup. Citizens submit a joint statement “The Japanese government should restructure its policy towards Myanmar!”

On February 1st, it will be two years since the coup d’état by the military in Myanmar. The 36 advocates, who are active in a wide range of fields, including journalists, lawyers, and writers, have begun calling for support for the joint statement calling on the Japanese government to restructure its policy toward Myanmar.
Since the coup d’état, the Japanese government has repeatedly stated that it is calling on the Myanmar military to “immediately stop the violence,” “release those involved in detention,” and “early restore the democratic political system.” Over the years, the Japanese government’s appeals have had no effect. On the contrary, official development assistance, which should have been based on bilateral promises, was continued, and the Japanese government’s policy toward Myanmar was inconsistent, such as the cabinet secretary’s meeting with high-ranking officials of the National Governance Council established by the Myanmar military. State.
In this joint statement, we organize these contradictions in the Japanese government’s policies from four perspectives and request improvements. We plan to gather support from a wide range of citizens and civil society groups and submit it to the Japanese government on February 1.
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・ Organizations that make up the “#Cut off funding sources for the Myanmar military” campaign:
Mekong Watch, Ayus Buddhism International Cooperation Network, International Environmental NGO FoE Japan, Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC), Network Against Arms Trafficking (NAJAT) ・Proposers: Rin Amamiya (Author/Activist), Kozue Akibayashi (Teacher at Doshisha University), Tsuyoshi Inaba (Visiting Professor at Rikkyo University Graduate School), Takuya Iizuka (Committee on East Asian Reconciliation and Peace, Japan Christian Council), Iijima Shigeaki (Professor of Constitutional Law and Peace Studies, Nagoya Gakuin University), Ryuho Okada (Busan School of Shingon Buddhism), Masakuni Ota (Critic/Editor), Hideto Okochi (Chief Priest of Kenju-in Temple/Member of INEB), Kazuoki Ohno ( Editor-in-chief of Nikkan Verita), Hitoshi Kameyama (photographer), Sumiko Hatakeyama (Peace Boat), Atsushi Koketsu (Visiting Researcher, Institute for the History of International Arms Transfer, Meiji University), Hiroshi Sasaki (Professor, Niigata University of International and Information Studies (Political Science), Natsuko Saeki (Indonesian Democratization Support Network), Yoko Shida (Professor, Faculty of Art and Design, Musashino Art University), Masahiko Shimizu (Professor, Nippon Sport Science University (Constitutional Studies)), Daisaku Seto (Secretary General, Anti-Poverty Network), Takao Takahara (Meiji Gakuin) University teacher), Mieko Takenobu (journalist), Yukiko Takei (lawyer), Takao Takeda (monk of Nihonzan Myohoji Temple), Aika Taira (pastor of Kawawa Church, United Church of Christ in Japan), Masaru Kosaka (NPOSOSAPROJECT), Takehiko Chikushi (Constitutional Society) ), Hiroshi Nagai (journalist), Shigeki Nagayama (teacher at Tokai University), Keiko Nakao (representative of the Japan Burma Relief Center), Koichi Nakano (professor at Sophia University), Takashi Nemoto (professor at Sophia University), Noriko Hiruko (Japanese Catholic Justice and Peace Council Secretariat), Yasushi Higashizawa (Professor, Faculty of Law, Meiji Gakuin University), Michimi Murashiku (Professor, Faculty of Law, Gakushuin University), Tomoe Moriya (Nanzan Research Institute for Religion and Culture), Reiko Yukawa (Music Critic, Lyricist), Yo Yoshitaka (Chairman of NCC Japan Christian Council), Sayuri Watanabe (Co-representative of Atutu Myanmar Support)
*Please see the following site for the message from the caller.
・Approval form (also accessible from the above website)
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February 1, 023
Joint statement Two years after the coup d’état, the Japanese government should restructure its policy toward Myanmar
Since the coup d’état initiated by the Myanmar military on February 1, 2021, violence against civilians by the military and police has continued in the country, resulting in numerous casualties and detainees. The United Nations reported in early December that there are an estimated 1.473 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Myanmar, of whom 1.143 million have been newly displaced since the coup. reach. In addition, many civilians, including children, have been killed or injured by indiscriminate shelling and airstrikes by the military. Forced into a corner by oppression, not a few young people have taken up arms, and armed clashes have broken out all over the country, making the situation extremely chaotic. The reason for this state of affairs is that the Myanmar military overthrew the government, which was elected with overwhelming popular support. Since the coup d’état, the Japanese government has called on the Myanmar military to immediately stop the violence, release those involved in detention, and quickly restore a democratic political system. But over the past two years, the Japanese government’s appeals have had no effect. On the contrary, there is a big contradiction in the Japanese government’s approach to Myanmar.
Even after the military overthrew the elected government, the Japanese government continues to provide Official Development Assistance (ODA), which is supposed to be based on bilateral commitments. Furthermore, in 2022, the Deputy Director-General of the Cabinet Secretariat for Economic Development has made multiple visits to Myanmar and met with senior officials of the State Governance Council (SAC) established by the military. In addition, the content of the talks has not been disclosed. Such a response by the Japanese government has been criticized by Myanmar citizens as it reminds us of the close ties between the Japanese government and the military, which violates international law and continues to violate human rights. Maintaining economic relations with the SAC also contradicts the government policy, which advocates that “universal values” such as peace, freedom, equality, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are the pillars of diplomacy. ing. Based on these, we strongly request the following points.
1. Stop violence, release all people arbitrarily detained by the Myanmar military, and engage in dialogue with people involved in the National League for Democracy (NLD), citizens seeking democracy, armed groups of ethnic minorities, etc. Therefore, all economic cooperation by the government, including ODA, should be temporarily suspended until the return to the democratization transition process is materialized.
2. Since it has become clear that the military and its upper echelons derive huge profits from military companies and their economic networks, businesses involving the military and military companies should be conducted by both the public and private sectors of Japan. should stop.
3. Recognizing once again that the Myanmar military has maintained its power over a long period of time, even before the coup d’état, by exercising horrific violence against citizens seeking democracy, ethnic groups other than the Burmese, seeking autonomy, and religious minorities. Based on the above, the future policy toward Myanmar should be restructured.
4. Dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders, such as the National Unity Government (NUG), ethnic minority groups, and civil society groups supported by Myanmar citizens, to establish a system that can provide cross-border assistance to displaced people whose survival is threatened. , strongly urges the Japanese government to work together with the international community.
The so-called democratization of 2011 was the result of an elected civilian-led government under the 2008 Constitution enacted by the military government, in which the ministries and agencies that command armed organizations such as internal affairs, borders, and national defense are under the control of the military. It was an inadequate democratization that shared power between Despite this, Japan has prioritized economic support for both public and private sectors, and has not sought true democratization of Myanmar. Prior to that, from the 1990s, Japan had been involved in the development of offshore gas fields in Myanmar both in the public and private sectors, bringing enormous profits to the then military government. We also need to reflect on this deeply. On top of that, now is the time to start making efforts to build new relationships with the people of Myanmar. that’s all

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