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Bomb Temperature in Japan

                                   Asia Times

                                 April  10, 1997

HEADLINE: Fallout from bomb raises temperature in Japan 

BYLINE: Yoshiko Matsushita


   Myanmar opposition groups based in Japan denied on Wednesday allegations made
by the Yangon government that they were responsible for a letter bomb sent to
the house of a senior government official.

   The Myanmar dissident groups said the allegations were "baseless lies".

   The bomb attack killed Lieutenant- General Tin Oo's eldest daughter, Cho Lei 
Oo, on Sunday.

   Ye Htut, chairman of the National League for Democracy Japan, a branch of
Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's party, said: "We work in accordance with Ms
Suu Kyi at all times and our policy says that there should be no violence in our

   Ye Htut said his organization and three other groups - the  Burma  Youth
Volunteer Association, Democratic Burmese Students' Organization and 8888 Group 
- had formed a Joint Action Committee that vowed to hold demonstrations that
were "peaceful, disciplined and within the bounds of Japanese law".

   Myanmar's government said in a statement earlier this week that "there are
reasons to believe that the bomb plot was masterminded by some anti-Myanmar
government groups within Japan which have resorted to acts of terrorism".

   Said Aung Thu, leader of the  Burma  Youth Volunteer Association: "I don't
know what to say since it's just a surprise to blame quiet activists like us."

   According to Thu, the Myanmar expatriate community numbers 10,000 in Japan
and about 200 are active dissidents at one of four groups, which had a total

of 2,000 "financial supporters" for their activities.

   In addition to demonstrations in front of the Myanmar embassy in Japan, Thu
said activists lobbied Japanese Foreign Ministry officials to suspend Official
Development Assistance to Myanmar and consulted with Japanese companies, asking 
them to cut their investments until democracy is established in the country.

   Japan, with an aid program to Myanmar worth about US$ 140 million a year, is 
the world's biggest donor to Myanmar.

   "I tell them that the current assistance has only become the benefit of those
military officials," Thu said.

   Tin Oo, one of Myanmar's four most powerful generals in the country's
military government, was at home on Sunday but was not injured in the attack.

   The bombing was thought to be the second attack on Tin Oo in the past four