December 09, 2016

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Myanmar’s State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Japan for 1st visit since election

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is welcomed by Myanmar nationals in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: MNA
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is welcomed by Myanmar nationals in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: MNA

Myanmar’s State Counsellor (Daw) Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in Japan on Tuesday for a five-day visit, during which she and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are expected to affirm their cooperation in advancing Myanmar’s democratization and development.
In her first visit to Japan since the longtime pro-democracy party took power in March following a landmark election, Daw Aung Suu Kyi is also scheduled to hold talks with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. Both Abe and Kishida will likely pledge various forms of assistance for Myanmar’s new government.
In his talks with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Abe is expected to offer further cooperation toward the stability and development of regions home to Myanmar’s ethnic minorities and seek improvements in the investment environment for Japanese companies, Japanese officials said.
(Daw) Aung San Suu Kyi, who holds the dual positions of state counsellor and foreign minister, last visited Japan in April 2013 when she was an opposition member of parliament.
While she is constitutionally prohibited from becoming president in Myanmar, her state counsellor position gives her a role similar to a prime minister.
Japan’s offers of assistance to Myanmar come against a background of rivalry with China for economic and political influence among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations members, particularly the less developed nations of the Mekong region.
(Daw) Aung San Suu Kyi chose China for her first overseas visit outside Southeast Asia since her party’s election victory. During that trip in August, she discussed Chinese investment in Myanmar’s infrastructure development with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
(Daw) Aung San Suu Kyi will go to Kyoto on Thursday and is expected to visit Kyoto University, where she spent time from 1985 to 1986 studying the life of her father, revolutionary leader Aung San.
She is scheduled to take questions at a press conference in Tokyo and participate in a forum on public-private cooperation in the Mekong region on Friday, Japanese officials said.—Kyodo News

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