Japan Chair Platform: Japan and Myanmar: Relationship Redux
October 15, 2013
From an apex as the most important economic aid relationship that Burma/Myanmar had with any foreign state or organization, either multilateral or bilateral, from independence in 1948 until 1988, Japan had fallen into a role of marginal assistance and influence for the past score of years. Until the military coup of September 18, 1988, that violently suppressed the failed people’s revolution earlier that year, Japan had provided Burma with US$2.2 billion in foreign aid and reparations; Burma was one of its largest aid recipients.1 Japan alone provided about half of all foreign aid to Burma from any source. It had multiple reasons for its prominent role in Burma: access to Burma’s natural resources and markets, guilt over World War II’s destruction and a desire to play an important positive international role, empathy with Burma’s Buddhist background, and through its aid program the resuscitation of Japanese industry.
4 Joint statement, May 26, 2013.