Myanmar Junta Blocks Japanese Envoy From Meeting Suu Kyi

By The Irrawaddy 19 November 2021

Myanmar’s military regime has rejected a request from Yohei Sasakawa, the chairman of the Japanese Nippon Foundation charity, to meet detained State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

During a pre-coup visit to Myanmar, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi gave Sasakawa her father’s Japanese sword, asking him to repair it.

Her father, General Aung San, received military training in Japan in 1940 during the Second World War as part of his efforts to gain independence.

Sasakawa, who is also Japan’s special envoy for national reconciliation in Myanmar, visited the country this week. He said Gen. Aung San’s sword was fixed and he asked to present it to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

He told politicians in Yangon on Thursday that the regime had refused his request.

Myanmar Farmers Development Party chairman U Kyaw Swar Soe said: “All the envoys want to meet her. The regime refuses on legal grounds.”

People’s Party chairman U Ko Ko Gyi said: “He showed pictures of the sword and complained that he did not know how to get it to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

“Myanmar’s problems are very complex. As Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is an important leader, it is necessary to engage with her but it is also important to engage extensively with ethnic leaders, ethnic armed organizations and political parties,” he added.

China’s special envoy Sun Guoxiang was also refused access to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who is being held in an unknown location in Naypyitaw.

During his visit to Rakhine State on Nov. 15, Sasakawa said he was attempting to meet National League for Democracy leaders.

There were reports Sasakawa had an informal meeting with Daw Su Su Lwin, the wife of former President U Htin Kyaw. The Irrawaddy could not independently confirm the reports.

Sasakawa said on Wednesday that he met a senior NLD figure whom he refused to name.

His five-day visit ended on Thursday after he met the regime’s leader Min Aung Hlaing and representatives of political parties, including the Arakan National Party, Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, Shan Nationalities Democratic Party, People’s Party, Federal Union Party and Myanmar Farmers Development Party.

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