Japan to decide on Myanmar sanctions after junta talks

Other News Materials 1 October 2007 12:20

( RIA Novosti ) - Tokyo will wait until after talks between its deputy foreign minister and a UN envoy with Myanmar's ruling junta before deciding on sanctions, Japan's foreign minister said Monday.

"We will make a decision after hearing their reports," Masahiko Komura told reporters.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said Sunday Tokyo was ready to join any proposed international economic sanctions against the Myanmarese junta.

A Japanese journalist, Kenji Nagai, 50, was shot dead by security forces during anti-government demonstrations in Yangon on Thursday. Japan's Deputy Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka flew into Myanmar on Sunday to express Japan's anger over the killing and to demand a full investigation.

The United Nations' special envoy Ibrahim Gambari was expected to meet with Myanmar's military leaders on Monday to persuade them to ease a harsh crackdown on protests that broke out in mid-August, when the junta sharply raised fuel prices. On Sunday, he met with arrested opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

On Friday, the United States imposed financial sanctions against Myanmar's 14 top leaders. President George W. Bush also called on the international community "to help the Burmese people reclaim their freedom" in a speech to the 62nd General Assembly earlier last week.

The UN Security Council failed to adopt a draft resolution on Myanmar after China and Russia blocked appeals for sanctions saying they were not helpful.

Troops have shot and killed at least 10 people protesting against the ruling junta. But diplomats and the opposition say the number of dead is likely to be far higher. Soldiers also ransacked Buddhist monasteries, beating monks, who largely instigated the protests, and arresting about 1,000 of them, media reports said.