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Burma's economic relations with Japan

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: "Japan Times"
Description/subject: 4,040 results for a Google search for "Burma OR Myanmar" (August 2017)
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Japan Times"
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) - Myanmar
Description/subject: Reports of meetings, projects eetc....."The new administration of Myanmar, which was formed in March 2011, is furthering reforms toward democratization and national reconciliation. Given this movement, the government of Japan changed its economic cooperation policy in April 2012 so that a wider scope of people could appreciate the effects of the reforms, and has decided to expand its areas of support. In addition to the conventional fields of cooperation such as improving BHN and capacity along with providing assistance to minority ethnic groups, JICA is working to ascertain the needs for infrastructure to promote economic development, and is planning to form well-balanced projects. Specifically, JICA will continue such past assistance as measures for the three major infectious diseases (malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis), as well as implement an economic reform program as assistance to reform the economy through capacity development. JICA is also planning to provide cooperation for urban development in Yangon, along with port and transportation network infrastructure, as support that will lead to economic growth."
Language: English
Source/publisher: JICA
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 November 2014

Title: Japan-Myanmar Relations
Description/subject: Diplomatic Relations, Number of Japanese Nationals residing in Myanmar, Number of Myanmar Nationals residing in Japan, Trade with Japan (1998) Direct Investment from Japan, Japan's Economic Cooperation, List of Grant Aid - Exchange of Notes in Fiscal Year 2002, VIP Visits. Statements by Japanese officials, Press Secretary's Press Conference on Myanmar
Language: English
Source/publisher: Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Search for Myanmar on the IDE/JETRO site
Description/subject: Several Myanmar-Japan items
Language: English
Source/publisher: IDE/JETRO
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 13 September 2012

Individual Documents

Title: Government signs Dawei agreement with ITD – again
Date of publication: 07 August 2015
Description/subject: "The new consortium includes ITD, Japanese-Thai joint venture Rojana Industrial Park Public Company and LNG Plus International Company, also from Thailand, according to a statement by Damien Dujacquier, a partner at consultant Roland Berger. Late last year, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed he would support the economic zone in Tanintharyi Region which aims to link the Andaman Sea to Bangkok and the Gulf of Thailand. However, there was no mention of Japan’s participation in the August 5 statement. “The agreement marks a significant milestone in Myanmar’s economic development,” said Mr Dujacquier. “The zone is expected to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the long term and contribute up to 5 percent of Myanmar’s GDP [gross domestic product] by 2045.” The ambitious project has been in the works for many years. The governments of Myanmar and Thailand first signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the area in 2008, then in 2010 Myanmar granted a 60-year concession to ITD to develop a deep sea port, industrial estate, and road and rail link to Thailand..."
Author/creator: Clare Hammond
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times" (English)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 August 2015

Title: Japan’s Role for the Human Resource Development for Manufacturing Industry in Myanmar
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Introduction: "Myanmar has been receiving international business attentions since 201 1. Strong growth potential and expectation for the transformation of the Myanmar’s political situation and foreign relations are attracting large foreign direct investment (FDI) from Japan as well as many developed countries. Industrialization is an import ant issue for developing countries for economic development. Myanmar urgently requires industrial competitiveness by catching up with technological capability. Human resource development plays a crucial role in building skills and technological capability, and for realizing a nation’s industrial competitiveness. Myanmar as the latest comer in ASEAN for industrialization, investing in broad human capital development is fundamental to develop into a modern industrial economy. Developing countries can maximum utilize the late comers’ advantages during the process of industrialization. This paper aims to analyse the current human resource development in manufacturing industry and strategies of Japanese government and industries in investments for it. This paper tries to analyse the case of Japanese technology transfer in manufacturing industry. Especially, it focuses on the implementation process of the effective production system from Japan to Myanmar. Each country has each development process. When Japan started initial phase of industrialization, Japan tried several strategies to catch up developed countries. The Japanese development path and the Japanese human resource development strategies over yeas are studied for leaning evolutionary process over years. For this, this paper focuses on the innovative aspect of Japanese human resource development practices and its transfer to Myanmar.".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Yuri Sadio, Than Than Aung
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (461K)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 06 September 2015

Title: Investigation Report - Thilawa Special Economic Zone Development Project
Date of publication: November 2014
Description/subject: Investigation Report Thilawa Special Economic Zone Development Project In The Republic of the Union of Myanmar November 2014 The Examiner for the JICA guidelines for environmental and social considerations.....To ensure compliance with the “Guidelines for Environmental and Social Considerations” published in April 2010 (hereinafter referred to as the “Guidelines”) of Japan International Cooperation Agency (hereinafter referred to as “JICA”), JICA has appointed external examiners for the Guidelines (hereinafter referred to as the “Examiners”), who are to report their findings directly to the President of JICA (hereinafter referred to as the “President”) and are independent from the departments of JICA responsible for individual projects and environmental analysis (hereinafter referred to as the “Operational Departments”).
Author/creator: The Examiner for the JICA guidelines for environmental and social considerations
Language: English (original is in Japanese)
Source/publisher: Examiner for the JICA guidelines for environmental and social considerations
Format/size: pdf (2.9MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.jica.go.jp/english/our_work/social_environmental/guideline/pdf/guideline100326.pdf
Date of entry/update: 02 December 2014

Title: Japan's Itochu joins the charge of the mining brigade in to Burma
Date of publication: 04 May 2012
Description/subject: "It is reported in the Japanese press today that Itochu Corp has begun a feasibility study in the country to isolate specialty metals including tungsten and molybdenum. This follows approaches by Japanese officials last year trying to get a deal with Burma for access to rare earths, the elements vital to Japanese industry’s high tech and hybrid car programs. South Korea has also been lobbying the Burmese over rare earths. Chinese companies have also been eyeing projects in the country. In 2008, China National Petroleum Corp signed a 30-year gas agreement covering production from three blocks in the Bay of Bengal. But this is only the beginning. The country will be a big target because it has bountiful resources in close proximity to resource-hungry India and China..."
Author/creator: Robin Bromby
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Australian"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 May 2012

Title: Japan and the Myanmar Conundrum
Date of publication: October 2009
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Myanmar, also known as Burma, is an exception to many of the success stories of countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Throughout the postwar period the country has pursued a foreign policy line that has been obstinately indepen-dent, with a basic stance towards the outside world pervaded by a sense of noli me tangere. Once it was one of the key Asian countries convening the 1955 Bandung Conference at which the non-aligned movement was launched, but policies pursued since have made the country a peripheral member of the international community. One of the country’s key relationships in the postwar period has been with Japan. The beginning of this bilateral relationship goes back to the Second World War period. In December 1941, Japan began a mili-tary campaign into Southeast Asia and a puppet government for Burma under the Burmese nationalist Ba Maw was set up on August 1, 1942, which replaced British colonial rule. In May 1945, the British Army returned to Rangoon and the colonial masters regained power but two years later they agreed to hand over the ruling of the country to the Burmese, and Burma became independent in January 1948. In 1954, an agreement on war reparations was reached be-tween Japan and Burma totalling US$200 million over ten years, which began to be paid out the following year. Not only was aid from Japan forthcoming but it was increasing, from about US$20 million in the 1960s to around US$200 million in the 1970s. The aid amounted to a total of US$2.2 billion during 1962–1988. Japan became the largest aid donor to Burma. For Japan, the agreement with Burma was important in that a window of opportunity opened for Japan’s diplomacy towards Southeast Asian countries that had been at a standstill since the end of the Second World War. After a military coup in 1988, Japanese ODA to Burma was suspended‚ in principle,‛ and new aid was limited to projects that were of an ‚emergency and humanitarian nature.‛ Nevertheless, Japan was soon again accounting for the lion’s share of aid to the country. General elections took place in Myanmar in May 1990 and resulted in a serious setback for the military junta. The oppo-sition National League for Democracy (NLD) secured a landslide victory. The outcome did not result in a new government, since the ruling military ignored the election result of the NLD and refused to hand over power. In 1992 a shift of Japan’s ODA policy was announced with the adoption of Japan’s ODA Charter, which prescribed that decisions on ODA should be tak-en after taking into account the recipients’ record on military spending, de-mocracy, moves towards market economy, and human rights. From this pe-riod a carrot and stick policy as codified in the ODA Charter has been applied to Myanmar which represented a clear break with Japan’s previous ‚hands-off‛ stance. A bifurcated Myanmar policy pursued by the Japanese govern-ment emerged, resulting from its efforts to relate to the two important political forces confronting each other in Myanmar. Nevertheless, there has been a strong bias on part of the Japanese government towards favoring relations with the ruling military. Relations between Japan and Myanmar have been receding ever since the military junta took power in 1988 and Japan instituted its policy of carrots and sticks. For Myanmar’s ruling junta, Japan’s carrot and stick policy was unwel-come news when it was first introduced, and has been seen ever since as an attempt by Japan to interfere in what the junta considers Myanmar’s internal affairs. With the junta in Myanmar facing international isolation after its sup-pression of democracy, China’s exchanges with Myanmar increased drastically. Soon after the 1988 coup, China had become the main external supporter of the Myanmar junta. In order to coming to grips with the situation around Myanmar a proposal has been launched focusing on the formation of an international coalition strong and viable enough to institute change. Due to its strong historical ties and good relations inside and outside Myanmar, Japan is one candidate for playing a key role in such an endeavor. With its strong links with all major forces, Japan occupies a pivotal position with a viable chance of bringing to-gether critical actors into a process of dialogue and reform. Two recent devel-opments increase the possibility that Japan and China would cooperate in such an endeavor. During Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s visit to China in 2006 after only one week in office, he admitted that China played the key role in the negotiations with North Korea and expressed hope that China would exercise its influence. It was in realization of the fact that, in dealing with North Korea, Japan’s strong-handed policy of ‚dialogue and pressure‛ had not worked, which made the Japanese government conclude that united international ac-tion was needed if negotiations were to progress, and that chances were great-er to reach results if the Chinese could be persuaded to use their influence to talk the North Koreans out of their provocative policies. The second move that has a bearing on Japan’s Myanmar policy are the events surrounding the cold-blooded killing of the Japanese photographer Nagai Kenji during demonstra-tions in Yangon on September 27, 2007. An important step taken by Japan was the fact that Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo brought up Myanmar in talks over the phone with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China the day after the fatal shooting, and asked that China, given its close ties with Myanmar, exercise its influence and Premier Wen said he will make such efforts. Abe’s visit to Beijing broke the ice between China and Japan, and a series of top-level meetings have followed. The two countries have clarified that they seem themselves to bear a responsibility for peace, stability, and development of the Asia-Pacific region and have agreed to together promote the realization of peace, prosperity, stability, and openness in Asia. Not only that, the two governments pledged to together forge a bright future for the Asia-Pacific re-gion. If Japan and China see themselves as bearing a responsibility for the peace, stability, and development of the Asia-Pacific region, it is hard to see how they can avoid being annoyed by the existence in their immediate neigh-borhood of a country that is widely treated an international outsider, especial-ly if they want to live up to their declared aim of aligning Japan–China rela-tions with the trends of the international community."
Author/creator: Bert Edström
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Security and Development Policy (Sweden)
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB)
Date of entry/update: 19 February 2010

Title: China and Japan's Economic Relations with Myanmar: Strengthened vs. Estranged
Date of publication: 2009
Description/subject: "China has historically been the most important neighbor for Myanmar, sharing a long 2185 km border. Myanmar and China call each other "Paukphaw," a Myanmar word for siblings that is never used for any country other than China, reflecting their close and cordial relationship. The independent China-Myanmar relationship is premised on the five principles of peaceful co-existence, including mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty and mutual non-aggression. Japan and Myanmar have also had strong ties in the post-World War II period, often referred to as a "special relationship", or a "historically friendly relationship."! That relationship was established through the personal experiences and sentiments ofNe Win and others in the military and political elite of independent Myanmar. Aung San, Ne Win and other leaders of Myanmar's independence movement were members of the "Thirty Comrades," who were educated and trained by Japanese army officers.2 However, China's and Japan's relations with Myanmar have developed in contrast to one another since 1988, when the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), later re-constituted as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), took power by military coup. The military government in Myanmar has improved and strengthened its relations with China, while their relationship with Japan has worsened and cooled. What accounts for the differences in China's and Japan's relations with Myanmar? The purpose of this chapter is to examine the development and changes in China-Myanmar and Japan-Myanmar relations from historical, political, diplomatic and particularly economic viewpoints. Based on discussions, the author evaluates China's growing influences on the Myanmar government and economy, and identifies factors that, on the contrary, have put Japan and Myanmar at a distance since 1988..."
Author/creator: Toshihiro Kudo
Language: English
Source/publisher: IDE- Institute of Developing Economies / JETRO - Japan External Trade Organization
Format/size: pdf (201K)
Date of entry/update: 13 September 2012

Title: Review of Donald Seekins': "Burma and Japan since 1940. From ‘Co-Prosperity’ to ‘Quiet Dialogue’ "
Date of publication: 2009
Description/subject: "...The book looks at Burma’s ‘tragedy’ as being a result of both internal and external factors, thus placing the country’s history in a global context. It demonstrates that Japanese attitudes and actions towards the country throughout different periods were mainly guided by Japanese self-interest and lacked a deeper understanding of Burma’s ‘real’ problems. Japan did not liberate Burma in 1942, nor did it do so later. This thesis might also be applicable to the relations of other countries with Burma. The country was and is a fine projection screen for fantasies about what Burma ‘is’ in connection with practical self-interests of varying kinds – economic as well as humanitarian. The book also provides detailed facts and figures on Japanese investment in Burma, as well as the cultural background behind Japanese perceptions of the country and its protagonists. What is missing, however, is an evaluation of the activities of the many Japanese NGOs working in post-1988 Burma; these provided help for many projects in the country and thus contributed to the emergence of segments of civil society in Myanmar..."
Author/creator: Hans-Bernd Zöllner
Source/publisher: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 1/2009
Format/size: pdf (84K)
Date of entry/update: 21 August 2011

Title: Myanmar and Japan: How Close Friends Become Estranged
Date of publication: August 2007
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "Independent Myanmar and Japan had long held the strongest ties among Asian countries, and they were often known as having "special relations" or a "historically friendly relationship."Such relations were guaranteed by the sentiments and experiences of the leaders of both countries. Among others, Ne Win, former strongman throughout the socialist period (1962-1988), was educated and trained by the Japanese army officers of the Minami Kikan, leading to the birth of the Burma Independence Army (BIA). Huge official development assistance provided by the Japanese government also cemented this special relationship. However, the birth of the present military government (SLORC/SPDC) in 1988 drastically changed this favorable relationship between the two countries. When the military seized power in a coup, Japan was believed to be the only country that possessed sufficient meaningful influence on Myanmar to encourage a move toward national reconciliation between the junta and the opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi. In reality, Japan failed to exert such an influence due to its sour relations with the military government and reduced influence in the new international and regional political landscape. What is worse, Japan seems to be losing its say on Myanmar issues in the international political arena, as it has been wavering in limbo between the sanctionist forces, such as the United States and the European Union, and engagement forces, such as China and ASEAN."... Keywords: Myanmar (Burma), Japan, China, ODA, Foreign Relations, Cold War JEL classification:F14, F35, N45
Author/creator: Toshihiro Kudo
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of Developing Economies (IDE Discussion Paper 118)
Format/size: pdf (233K)
Date of entry/update: 22 April 2008

Title: Japan Envoy Visits Northern Arakan
Date of publication: 31 July 2004
Description/subject: Maung Daw, July 31: "A Japanese envoy visited Northern Arakan from the 23rd to the 27th of July, according to our correspondent. The envoy led by Masache O’ Jawa, Business attachée of the Japanese Embassy in Rangoon, also included Taka Hiro Susu Ki, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)’s regional representative to Burma as well as Choche Yo Ho Rekie, a chief engineer of JICA office in Cambodia. The purpose of the foreign envoy's visit to Maung Daw was to inspect a damaged road that was constructed by the British government during the Second World War. The Japanese government may assist in the rebuilding of the road in the near future..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Narinjara News
Format/size: html (6K)
Date of entry/update: 01 August 2004

Title: Japan Vows Aid to Burma Despite Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's Detention
Date of publication: 19 July 2004
Description/subject: Chittagong, July 19: "Japan is to provide 344 million yen (3.1 million dollars) in aid to help Burma battle environmental deprivation, regardless of the ongoing detention of opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, according to Myanmar Times..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kaladan News
Format/size: html (11K)
Date of entry/update: 02 August 2004

Title: Is Japan Really Getting Tough on Burma? (Not likely)
Date of publication: 28 June 2003
Description/subject: "There was a flurry of articles last week about how Japan plans to suspend, or in fact suspended, economic aid (ODA: Official Development Assistance, which is comprised mainly of yen loans, grants and technical assistance) to Burma, thereby stepping up the pressure on the military junta to release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Most news reports say that the aid that is being frozen is further, or new, ODA. Given that Japan has long pursued an engagement policy with Burma, and is the largest provider of economic aid to Burma (2.1 billion yen of grants-in-aid was provided in fiscal year 2002), a suspension would carry a certain weight with the military regime. ...Japan's engagement policy with Burma has always been based on a �gcarrot and stick�h approach, which traditionally has involved far more "carrots" than �gstick.�h Notwithstanding the uncertainties surrounding the suspension of new ODA, Japan's freeze is a rare, and probably short-term, application of a �gstick.�h The Japanese government�fs preference has been, and will continue to be, for �gcarrots,�h a posture that is due in part to apparent concern about China replacing Japan as a likely source of economic assistance to, and political influence on, Burma. In this context, therefore, it is essential that governments and non-governmental groups monitor Japan's Burma policy -- and be wary of overly optimistic or inaccurate news accounts concerning that policy. There is little doubt that, without pressure from other countries (notably the U.S.) and interested citizens, even a decision to suspend new ODA would likely have been much slower in coming. Such pressure must continue."
Author/creator: Yuki Akimoto
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Information Network - Japan
Format/size: html (18K); pdf (16k)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/bi_on_oda.htm
Date of entry/update: 30 June 2003

Date of publication: 10 January 2002
Description/subject: Kuala Lumpur; jan 10; "UN envoy Razali Ismali is expected to urge Japan to play a larger role in developing Myanmar s education, health and energy sector, a Malaysian official said Thursday, reports AFP..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Narinjara news
Format/size: html (6K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Development, Environment and Human Rights in Burma/Myanmar ~Examining the Impacts of ODA and Investment~Public Symposium Report, Tokyo, Japan
Date of publication: 15 December 2001
Description/subject: Chapter 1: ODA and Foreign Investment p7; Chapter 2: Japanese Policy Towards Myanmar p14; Chapter 3: Baluchaung Hydropower Plant No 2 p19; Chapter 4: Tasang Dam and Yadana Gas Pipeline p22; Chapter 5: The UNOCAL Case p26; Chapter 6: Panel Discussion p30; Chapter 7: Development in Other Countries 40; Chapter 8: Reviewing Development p43; References: p45. "...One objective of the symposium was to examine how development has affected people and the environment in Burma. Another objective was to examine the roles of the Japanese government, of private companies, and of individuals in development in Burma. Each speaker had his or her own ideas about what is best for Burma. Does Burma need development? If so, what kind of development does it need? For development, is it necessary for other countries to give Official Development Assistance (ODA)? Should ODA be given under the current military regime? Should companies invest in Burma now? Do ODA and investment help the people of Burma? ..."
Author/creator: (Speakers): Ms. Taeko Takahashi, Mr. Teddy Buri, Ms. Hsao Tai, Ms. Yuki Akimoto, Mr. Nobuhiko Suto, Mr. Shigeru Nakajima
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mekong Watch, Japan
Format/size: PDF (640K) 45pg
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Japan errs again
Date of publication: May 2001
Description/subject: "The surest sign that the talks between Burma�s ruling junta and the democratic opposition were in serious trouble came in early April, when Japan�s then-Foreign Minister Yohei Kono announced that his country was ready to "reward" the regime to the tune of $28 million for repairs to a hydroelectric power station in Karenni State..."
Author/creator: Editorial
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 9, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Gambling on Japan
Date of publication: April 2000
Description/subject: In recent years Japan has attempted to assert itself as a major player on the Asian political stage, only to have its efforts rebuffed by its neighbors and its major strategic partner, the United States. But, writes Neil Lawrence, Asian countries struggling out of a major economic crisis may finally be ready to give Japan the leading role it has long coveted. But doubts remain about Japan's political values.
Author/creator: Neil Lawrence
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 4-5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: The North Wind and the Sun: Japan's Response To The Political Crisis in Burma, 1988-1998
Date of publication: 1999
Description/subject: "Japan's response to the political crisis in Burma after the establishment of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) in September 1988 reflected the interests of powerful constituencies within the Japanese political system, especially business interests, to which were added other constituencies such as domestic supporters of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's struggle for democracy and those who wished to pursue 'Sun Diplomacy,' using positive incentives to encourage democratization and economic reform. Policymakers in Tokyo, however, approached the Burma crisis seeking to take minimal risks--a "maximin strategy"--which limited their effectiveness in influencing the junta. This was evident in the February 1989 "normalization" of Tokyo's ties with SLORC. During 1989-1998, Japanese business leaders pushed hard to promote economic engagement, but "Sun Diplomacy" made little progress in the face of the junta's increasing repression of the democratic opposition." Online publication with kind permission of the author and the Journal of Burma Studies
Author/creator: Donald M. Seekins
Language: English
Source/publisher: Journal of Burma Studies, Vol. 4 (1999)
Format/size: html (237K); pdf (2.17MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.grad.niu.edu/burma/publications/jbs/vol4/index.shtml
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Japan Seeks Respect - But from Whom?
Date of publication: April 1998
Description/subject: Japan's resumption of ODA to Burma's junta begs questions about its motives and what its political values really are.
Author/creator: LJN
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 6. No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003