Japanese minister pledges Myanmar debt relief, loans
AFPNAYPYIDAW--Japan's new government will stand by pledges to waive Myanmar debt and extend new loans, its finance minister said Thursday on a visit to boost economic ties with the former army-ruled nation.
January 4, 2013, 12:14 am TWN
Taro Aso also agreed to consider Japan's involvement in the planned multibillion-dollar Dawei deep-sea port in a meeting with reformist President Thein Sein, according to a Japanese official with knowledge of the talks.
The visit by the former premier — who was brought back to the frontline of Japanese politics by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after his election victory last month — reflects the economic importance Japan places on Myanmar.
It comes despite growing international concern about a civil war raging in Myanmar's northern state of Kachin, where the United States and the U.N. on Wednesday urged Myanmar to halt air strikes against ethnic minority rebels.
Japan's previous government first announced last April that it would forgive 300 billion yen (US$3.4 billion) of the 500 billion yen owed by Myanmar, following a string of dramatic political reforms in the one-time pariah state.