TOKYO: Around 200 Japanese and Burmese residents of Japan held a candlelit vigil in front of the Foreign Ministry on Thursday to demand an end to Japan’s ODA program with Myanmar.
Buddhist and Christian groups, NGOs and NPO associations opposed to arms sales, made speeches demanding that development aid (ODA) be stopped so that Japan is not seen to be financing the military junta that seized power in Myanmar. The security forces have reportedly killed more than 500 civilians.
A representative of NAJAT (Network Against Japan Arms Trade) regretted that the Japanese government has refused to categorically end ODA to Burma and has done little to help the people of Myanmar. A representative of Friends of the Earth said Japanese tax money could end up financing the Burmese military junta that is responsible for the massacre of Burmese civilians.
A number of countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, have already taken economic sanctions against Myanmar and its military dictatorship.