Japan condemns violence in Myanmar

Japan's Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the shooting of demonstrators by Myanmar's security forces, resulting in two dead and many injured.

In a statement on Sunday, Press Secretary Yoshida Tomoyuki offered condolences to the bereaved and heartfelt sympathies to the injured.

The statement said that using armed force against peaceful protests can never be tolerated. It strongly urges the Myanmar security apparatus "to immediately stop resorting to violence against civilians."

The ministry said the Japanese government again strongly urges the Myanmar military to release those who have been detained, including State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, and to swiftly restore Myanmar's democratic system.

Massive rallies have taken place across Myanmar for more than two weeks in protest against a military coup on February 1.

Security police opened fire on protesters in the central city of Mandalay on Saturday, killing two and injuring many others.