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Japan to waive Myanmar`s USD 3.7bn debt: Report

Japan is to waive Myanmar`s 300 billion yen (USD 3.7 bn) debt and plans to resume suspended assistance to the country.

Tokyo: Japan is to waive Myanmar`s 300 billion yen (USD 3.7 billion) debt and plans to resume suspended assistance to the country, a report said Thursday, as the one-time pariah is brought in from the cold.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is expected to announce the debt waiver during a planned meeting with Myanmar`s President Thein Sein on Saturday in Tokyo, the evening edition of the Asahi Shimbun reported.

"Following the debt waiver, (Japan) plans to resume full-fledged yen loans to the country for the first time in 25 years," the daily said.

Thein Sein will visit Japan from April 20 to 24 to become the first Myanmar head of state in 28 years to make the trip as the former dictatorship is gradually welcomed back into the global community.

A foreign ministry official declined to confirm the report but said: "It is true that the two countries are working on the debt issue as well as plans to pave the way for resuming Japan`s Official Development Assistance for Myanmar."

Myanmar, long a global outcast, has been rapidly rehabilitated into the global community since polls last year that saw the election of a nominally civilian government.

Earlier this month, democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi was elected to parliament and international sanctions on the regime are increasingly being relaxed.

Unlike major Western nations Japan kept trade ties and dialogue with Myanmar in its years of isolation, warning a hard line on the then-ruling junta could push it closer to China, its main political supporter and commercial partner.


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