Assistance provided by Japanese Government for the Return of Refugees in Kachin State, Myanmar
21 December 2019

Mr. Sasakawa Yohei, Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for National Reconciliation in Myanmar and Mr. Maruyama Ichiro, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, held a press conference in Myitkyina Township, Kachin State, Myanmar at 1:00 p.m., on 21 December 2019 and announced that the Japanese Government would provide assistance for the return of refugees in conflict affected areas in Kachin State. The detailed information is as follows:

1) Both public and private sectors of Japan are providing the utmost support for democratic nation building of Myanmar. Especially, together with Mr. Sasakawa Yohei, Japan has been facilitating dialogues between the related parties in order to promote the peace in ethnic minority areas. Moreover, with the signing of ceasefire agreements between the Myanmar Government and 10 ethnic armed organisations, Japan has been providing assistance through Japanese NGOs, including Nippon Foundation, in the conflict affected areas in the Southeast region of Myanmar since 2016. The assistance includes developing infrastructure such as houses, schools and healthcare facilities, sharing agricultural techniques and improving resettlement such as house electrification, which benefit the refugees and internally displaced persons who have returned to the region.

2) While the conflicts are still occurring in Rakhine State and the Northeast part of Myanmar, the situation is becoming stable in Northern Kachin State, and the discussions among the Myanmar Government, the Myanmar Army, Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Civil Society Organizations (CSO) on the return of refugees and ceasefire are in progress. In those circumstances, CSO requested to the Japanese Government through Mr. Sasakawa Yohei for assistance to promote the resettlement of refugees in the areas where security has been assured. Therefore, the Japanese Government took this opportunity and decided to provide assistance for the return of refugees in conflict affected areas in Kachin State.

3) The Japanese Government hopes that this assistance will contribute to improving humanitarian situation in Kachin State and reaching the ceasefire agreement as soon as possible and also that the Myanmar government, the Myanmar Army and ethnic armed groups will continue to hold peace talks in future. Lastly, the Japanese Government will continue to support the peace process of Myanmar to the fullest extent.