Japan condemns Myanmar for executing pro-democracy activists

Japan Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi

Japan on Monday renewed its condemnation of Myanmar as it aired serious concerns about the execution of two pro-democracy activists in the Southeast Asian nation, which remains under junta rule following the February 2021 coup.

The executions “completely go against the ‘release of the detainees’ which Japan has consistently called for,” Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said in a statement, referring to a Myanmar state media report earlier on Monday that four people, including two pro-democracy activists, had been executed.

The move will also “lead to deeper conflict due to the hardening of public sentiment and further isolation of Myanmar from the international community” and Japan “seriously deplores” the actions by the Myanmar military, Hayashi added.

The minister expressed Japan’s “deepest condolences” to the families of those who have lost their lives following the coup, while urging the junta to work towards the peaceful resolution of the situation under the five-point consensus agreed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders in April last year, such as calls for an immediate stop to violence in Myanmar.

The nation’s military tribunals sentenced the two pro-democracy activists to death in January for involvement in “terror acts” that included murder. The other two were reportedly implicated in the killing of a woman who was an alleged military informant.

There had been no executions of political prisoners in Myanmar since 1976 and the most recent instance of capital punishment occurred in 1990, according to local media.



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