Wed, 26 Jan 2022

Naypyidaw, [Myanmar], December 7 (ANI): Myanmar's National Unity Government (NUG) has asked Japan to be recognized as a legitimate governing body, local media reported citing sources on Tuesday.

Last month NUG sent a letter to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi. The shadow government said it plans to establish a representative office in Japan to counter the Myanmar Embassy in Tokyo, which is under the influence of the military government, Kyodo News reported.

Myanmar's military junta earlier designated the National Unity Government as a terrorist group, NHK World reported. The National Unity Government was set up by elected legislators who were barred from taking their seats when the military seized power and detained civilian leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi.

The NUG has opened representative offices in several other locations including the United States, Britain and South Korea.

While Japan does not recognize the military, known as the Tatmadaw, as the legitimate governing body of Myanmar, it has also distanced itself from sanctions imposed by Western countries while stressing the importance of its "independent pipeline" between the military and Japan's ambassador to Myanmar, Ichiro Maruyama, among others, Kyodo News reported.

According to the Japanese news agency, a senior official of the Japanese Foreign Ministry said the NUG is also not expected to be recognized as the legitimate government. The ministry declined to comment on whether it had received the letter.

Citing sources, Kyodo News reported that the letter congratulated Kishida and Hayashi on assuming their posts, and requested the establishment of diplomatic relations with the NUG, and called for a meeting between Hayashi and his NUG-appointed counterpart Zin Mar Aung.

A minister of the group told Kyodo News that the people of Myanmar including those living in Japan expect the NUG to be recognized as a legitimate government.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the coup on February 1, when the Myanmar military led by Senior General Ming Aung Hlaing overthrew the civilian government and declared a year-long state of emergency. The coup triggered mass protests and was met by deadly violence. (ANI)

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