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Japan to support Myanmar with $7.73 billion investment

Japan to support Myanmar with $7.73 billion investment Japan will provide aid worth 800 billion yen ($7.73 billion) to Myanmar over five years to spur its peace-building and development efforts, Reuters cited Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday.

About 40 billion yen of the aid planned by the government and private sector will be directed towards supporting ethnic minorities in the South East Asian nation.

"We hope this aid will help spread the fruit of peace building to various regions in Myanmar, and drive it forward," Abe told a joint news conference in Tokyo with Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The rest of the aid would be spent on areas such as airports and electricity projects, Japanese officials said.

Suu Kyi is visiting Japan to court investment and aid, as an upsurge in violence against a persecuted Muslim minority at home poses a crisis after six months in power and triggers U.S. criticism.

Myanmar needs Japanese investment and robust bilateral ties as a counterweight to its largest trading partner, China.

In turn, Japan is eager for opportunities to help Myanmar meet its extensive infrastructure and development needs.

Nearly 50 years of economic mismanagement by a military dictatorship have left Myanmar's roads, airports and electricity supply in disarray.

Japan, which never imposed trade and financial sanctions on Myanmar, already has a significant presence, centered on the Japan-led Thilawa Special Economic Zone.
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