Japan urges Myanmar to conduct credible Rohingya probe

Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, left, delivers her speech beside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their joint press remarks following their bilateral meeting at the Akasaka Palace state guest house in Tokyo Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. (Toshifumi Kitamura/Pool Photo via AP)
Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi delivers her speech beside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their joint press remarks following their bilateral meeting at the Akasaka Palace state guest house in Tokyo, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. (Toshifumi Kitamura/Pool Photo via AP)
Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, left, follows Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after their joint press remarks following their bilateral meeting at the Akasaka Palace state guest house in Tokyo Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. (Toshifumi Kitamura/Pool Photo via AP)
Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi delivers her speech during the joint press remarks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe following their bilateral meeting at the Akasaka Palace state guest house in Tokyo Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. (Toshifumi Kitamura/Pool Photo via AP)

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Myanmar's leader Tuesday that a credible investigation into alleged human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims is key to resolving tensions in the country's Rakhine state.

Abe told a joint news conference after holding talks with Aung San Suu Kyi that Japan will support efforts by Myanmar to accommodate Rohingya who return home from refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh.

"This problem is complicated and serious, and Japan will think with Myanmar and support its effort in resolving the problem," Abe said. "A credible investigation by the independent panel is particularly important."

Buddhist-majority Myanmar's military is accused of widespread rights violations, including rape, murder, torture and burning villages, which sent about 700,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh since August last year.

Suu Kyi's government has rejected independent international investigations into the alleged abuses and has commissioned its own probe.

Suu Kyi agreed Tuesday on the importance of an "accurate and appropriate" investigation. She defended the government-commissioned panel as free and effective, and its members — one each from Japan and the Philippines and two from Myanmar — as experts on human rights and international issues.

"I welcome Japan's support for our efforts for the refugees' return," said Suu Kyi, who is in Tokyo for a six-nation Mekong regional summit hosted by Japan.

Myanmar commissioned the panel after rights groups called for the International Criminal Court to investigate the alleged abuses. Myanmar's government, which is not a member of the court in The Hague, rejected any participation in its proceedings.

Myanmar authorities, including the army, have conducted their own inquiries and declared their forces free of criminal actions, leading critics to treat the latest government-formed commission as an effort to whitewash what the United Nations has characterized as ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.

___

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

Find her work at https://www.apnews.com/search/mari%20yamaguchi

People also read these

Beijing to spend $2.7 billion on cleaning capital's air

Jan 19, 2017

Chinese state media say Beijing will spend $2.7 billion to fight air pollution in the capital this...

China cracks down on tools used to get around web filters

Jan 23, 2017

A Chinese technology regulator has announced a 14-month campaign to root out services that allow...

China plans for 50,000 football academies by 2025

Feb 22, 2017

China's football association is planning for the country to have 50,000 football academies by 2025...

China's coal consumption falls for 3rd year in a row

Feb 28, 2017

China has released data showing that the country's consumption of coal fell in 2016 for a third...

China says rebuilding major western Buddhist learning center

Mar 14, 2017

China says it is rebuilding a major center of Tibetan Buddhist learning in the country's west,...

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

Contact us: sales[at]aseancoverage.com