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Japan: Trade unions set up office t

  BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific - Political

  May 29, 2001, Tuesday

  Japan: Trade unions set up office to help promote democracy in Burma

SOURCE: Kyodo News Service, Tokyo, in English 0321 gmt 29 May 01
Text of report in English by Japanese news agency Kyodo

Tokyo, 29 May: The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo)
said Tuesday 29 May it has set up an office in Tokyo to help promote
democracy in Myanmar Burma .

The Burma Office (Japan) is jointly run with the Federation of Trade
Unions-Burma, the League for Democracy in Burma and the National
League for Democracy (Liberated Area), Japan branch - all outlawed in
Myanmar - Rengo officials said.

"Myanmar's junta cracks down on trade unions, too. We would like to
help support democratization," a Rengo official said.

Rengo will finance the running cost of the office, to which it will dispatch
a senior official, the officials said.

Rengo will ask the Foreign Ministry in the near future to suspend a
government plan to resume official development assistance to Myanmar.
It will also make similar appeals to political parties and economic groups.

The office, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, will publish in-house magazines in
Japanese and English, the officials said.

The International Labour Organization in November adopted a resolution
to impose sanctions on Myanmar, saying the ruling junta has failed to scrap
its forced labour practices.