Japan may consider halting economic aid to Myanmar

NHK -- May 22
Japan's Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu has indicated that his ministry may consider halting the country's current economic assistance to Myanmar, whose military has been oppressing protesters.

Japan's government has already decided not to provide new aid of its Official Development Assistance, or ODA, to Myanmar. But dozens of yen loans and grant aid programs that had been signed still continue.

Motegi told reporters on Friday that the people of Myanmar and the international community hope the situation in the country improves soon.

He said that if the situation continues as is, Japan will have to reconsider its assistance now underway.

Motegi added that the government will deal with the matter while watching efforts by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

He also spoke about two Myanmar diplomats in Tokyo. Myanmar's embassy has told Japan's foreign ministry that it revoked their passports. The diplomats reportedly protested the military coup on social media.

Motegi said the ministry does not think the two acted inappropriately, and that their resident status has not been revoked.