Japan Defense Ministry to stop accepting Myanmar military members for training

Japan's Defense Ministry has decided to stop accepting members of Myanmar's military as students in response to Myanmar's executions of four people, including pro-democracy activists.

The ministry has accepted senior military officials from Myanmar as students, even after the military took power in the country in a coup in February last year.

But the executions in July prompted a nonpartisan group of Japanese lawmakers who support Myanmar's democratization to demand that Japan stop accepting military members.

Ministry spokesperson Aoki Takeshi told reporters on Tuesday that the ministry will stop accepting the students from fiscal 2023, which begins in April next year.

The 11 individuals who are already studying in Japan at the National Defense Academy and elsewhere will be allowed to complete their courses.

Aoki said the ministry decided it was not appropriate to continue defense cooperation and exchanges with Myanmar, as prior to the executions its military leaders ignored Japan's expression of strong concern.