Myanmar pro-democracy camp foreign minister calls for Japan's humanitarian help

Thursday marks three years since the military coup in Myanmar. The junta has been holding on to power and repressing civilians. Amid the continuing confusion, the foreign minister of the country's pro-democracy camp has called on Japan to provide assistance to ease the humanitarian crisis in the country.

The junta on Wednesday announced the extension of the state of emergency by another six months. It cited worsening security in the country, among other reasons. There is no prospect of an election for a transfer to civilian rule.

Zin Mar Aung of the National Unity Government, or NUG, spoke to NHK in an online interview.

She said joining forces with ethnic minority groups in the fight against the military has been producing results since October, when such collaboration started.

She said pro-democracy forces have sought peaceful talks with the military government, but to no avail.

She pointed out nonviolent protests have been ineffective, with participants thrown into prison or killed, saying: "We do not want to end up the same way again. Lessons must be learned."

She indicated that the pro-democracy camp will continue its armed resistance against the junta to overthrow it.

Zin Mar Aung noted that "many people are facing many humanitarian hardships across the country, including ethnic regions." She blamed the junta saying, "These crises are results of the actions of the military council."

She called on Japan for help to alleviate the humanitarian crisis and urged the Japanese government to use its leadership in Asia to be more outspoken about the situation in Myanmar.