Japan to provide $3 million to Myanmar for Rohingya return

Myanmar's State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, right, shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono after their joint press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Naypyitaw, Myanmar Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (Hein Htet/Pool Photo via AP)
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono visits a Japanese cemetery, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Yangon, Myanmar. Kono is on a three day visit to the country. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw)
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, speaks to the media during a joint press conference with Myanmar's State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi , after their meeting at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (Hein Htet/Pool Photo via AP)
Myanmar's State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to the media during a joint press conference with Japanese Foreign Minister, Taro Kono after their meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Naypyitaw, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (Hein Htet/Pool Photo via AP)
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono smiles after visiting a Japanese cemetery, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Yangon, Myanmar. Kono is on a three day visit to the country. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw)
Myanmar's State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to the media during a joint press conference with Japanese Foreign Minister, Taro Kono after their meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Naypyitaw, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (Hein Htet/Pool Photo via AP)
Myanmar's State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, right, shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister, Taro Kono after their joint press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Naypyitaw, Myanmar Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (Hein Htet/Pool Photo via AP)

BANGKOK — Japanese's foreign minister on Friday urged Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to guarantee the safe and voluntary return of Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in troubled Rakhine state.

While Foreign Minister Taro Kono is visiting Myanmar, the Japanese government announced a grant of $3 million to Myanmar's government to help facilitate the repatriation of the Rohingya.

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an agreement on the repatriation of Rohingya refugees on Nov. 23, and Myanmar said it would start the process by Jan 23. The exact numbers and extent of the repatriation is still unclear.

"We have decided to provide the aid in response to the agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh to represent an international message of support so that the repatriation can be carried out promptly," said Foreign Ministry official Shinobu Yamaguchi in a statement.

Kono's three-day visit to Myanmar includes traveling to Rakhine state. Humanitarian groups and independent media are prohibited from traveling to the area freely.

More than 650,000 Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh to escape a brutal crackdown in which security forces have been accused of systematic abuses tantamount to ethnic cleansing.

During a meeting on Friday, Kono asked Suu Kyi's government to allow humanitarian and media access to the affected area, the resettlement of returned refugees, and the implementation of recommendations made by former U.N Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Kono also said Japan plans to give further aid of $20 million to improve humanitarian conditions and development in Rakhine state.

"We are thankful to Japan for its willingness to support the needs both for short term and long term," Suu Kyi said at the joint news conference.

Yamaguchi stressed that Japan will monitor how the repatriation will be carried out. "The money will be paid in a timely manner based on the progress of repatriation," Yamaguchi added.

Myanmar's state-run media on Wednesday said authorities have started the land work to construct buildings to accommodate returned refugees from Bangladesh in northern Rakhine, where refugees will be temporarily placed after their citizenship is scrutinized.

Must Read

China says 2,500 wartime Japanese chemical weapons destroyed

Jan 17, 2017

China's military says more than 2,500 abandoned Japanese chemical weapons collected from northern...

Hong Kong bishop hints at Vatican deal with China

Feb 10, 2017

The head of the Catholic church in Hong Kong has expressed optimism that the Vatican and Beijing...

US-born panda Bao Bao lands in China after leaving DC zoo

Feb 23, 2017

An American-born panda on Thursday started settling into her new home in southwest China where she...

China plans panda preserve 3 times size of Yellowstone park

Mar 31, 2017

China plans a preserve for giant pandas that will be three times the size of Yellowstone National...

China blasts India over Dalai Lama visit to disputed area

Apr 5, 2017

China is criticizing India for allowing the Dalai Lama to visit a disputed border region, saying it...

People also read these

China praises Trump's letter to Xi, belated well-wishes

Feb 9, 2017

China has praised U.S. President Donald Trump for expressing a desire for a "constructive...

China says Dalai Lama border visit would damage India ties

Mar 4, 2017

China is warning of "severe damage" to relations with India if the Dalai Lama proceeds with a visit...

China not amused by Dalai Lama's spot on John Oliver's show

Mar 7, 2017

John Oliver won rave reviews for his "Last Week Tonight" interview showing the Dalai Lama in all...

NHL staging preseason games in China between Kings, Canucks

Mar 30, 2017

The NHL will play its first games in China this fall when the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver...

China blasts India over Dalai Lama visit to disputed area

Apr 5, 2017

China is criticizing India for allowing the Dalai Lama to visit a disputed border region, saying it...

AseanCoverage is a next-gen news site focusing exclusively on online news from South East Asia.

Contact us: sales@aseancoverage.com