Japan considering response to Myanmar's military coup

Protesters in Yangon take cover behind homemade shields as they confront the police during a crackdown on demonstrations against the military coup on March 14, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's chief Cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato on Monday (March 15) said the government is monitoring Myanmar's recent military coup and will consider how to respond to developments in the South-east Asian country.

"Going forward, Japan will consider how to respond to the situation in Myanmar in terms of economic cooperation and policies by monitoring developments in situation, while taking into consideration responses from countries concerned," Mr Kato told reporters.

This remark comes after South Korea said it would suspend defence exchanges with Myanmar and ban arm exports to the country after last month's military coup and violent suppression of pro-democracy protests.

At least 138 people have been killed in Myanmar since the protests started, based on a tally by the AAPP.

On Sunday, security forces killed at least 34 protesters after arson attacks on Chinese-owned factories in the Yangon suburb of Hlaingthaya, the Myanmar Now media group said.

A doctor in the area put the death toll there at 33 in a Facebook message.

Sixteen people were killed in other places, rights group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said, as well as one policeman, making it the bloodiest day since the coup.

State media said martial law had been imposed in Hlaingthaya and several other districts of Yangon.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.