Japan rules out sanctions against Myanmar
( RIA Novosti ) - Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda ruled out immediate sanctions against Myanmar Friday, reported Kyodo News.
''Much of Japan's assistance (to Myanmar) is humanitarian,'' Fukuda told reporters. ''We won't immediately impose sanctions and should rather think about how this situation can be resolved.''
Government officials also called for an investigation into the death of a Japanese video journalist who was shot dead while filming the ongoing Myanmar protests.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Kenji Nagai, 50, from Tokyo, was shot during clashes between security forces and anti-government demonstrators.
The Japanese Embassy in Myanmar has confirmed that Nagai was shot in the chest.
''I was told it was most likely instant death from massive loss of blood,'' a Japanese government spokesman said. ''Whether (the shooting) was intentional and whether it was from point-blank range remains to be investigated.''
In further related news, the U.S. has imposed financial sanctions against 14 top leaders of Myanmar's military junta.
"We are today imposing sanctions against senior officials of the government of Burma [ Myanmar]," Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, said.
The protests, which are the largest in more than two decades, began last month when the junta drastically raised the price of fuel, leaving many people unable to afford even a journey to work.
The last anti-junta demonstrations in Myanmar were led by students in 1988. Security forces opened fire on crowds, and around 3,000 people were killed.