Japan plans to suspend new aid to Myanmar

The Japanese government plans to withhold new aid to Myanmar for the time being to urge its military to stop violence against civilians and restore democracy.

The measure is aimed at putting pressure on Myanmar's military while staying engaged with it. Japan's government thinks suspending its economic assistance to Myanmar is more effective than sanctions imposed by some Western nations.

On Tuesday, members of Japan's main ruling Liberal Democratic Party drafted a resolution calling on the government to be careful about providing new official development assistance to Myanmar.

They argued that the government should take into account Myanmar's changing situation when considering economic and defense cooperation with the country.

Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu has said Japan is the largest provider of economic assistance to Myanmar and the government's stance is clear that there will be no new projects.

Japan's official development assistance to Myanmar totaled nearly 200 billion yen, or about 1.8 billion dollars, in the 2019 fiscal year, which ended in March 2020.

The United States, Britain, Canada and the European Union have imposed an asset freeze and other sanctions against entities linked to the military as Myanmar's security forces continue to use force against protesters.