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Japan's finance minister in Myanmar with development pledges

Published on Jan 3, 2013 7:20 PM

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (REUTERS) - Japan's new government confirmed its support for the emerging democracy in Myanmar on Thursday when Finance Minister Taro Aso visited the country to reaffirm Japan's intention to cancel debt and help develop a big industrial zone.

Myanmar has implemented rapid economic and political reforms since President Thein Sein's quasi-civilian government took over from a long-ruling military junta in March 2011 and Japan has moved quickly to cement business ties.

Aso, also deputy prime minister, had already arranged the visit, prior to his ministerial appointment after an election last month, in his capacity as a senior member of the Japan-Myanmar Association, a lobby group set up to advance Japanese business interests in the Southeast Asian country.

"Following the change of government in Japan, just like the previous government, we want to maintain a good relationship with Myanmar," Aso told reporters after meeting the president at his palace in the new capital, Naypyitaw.

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