Japan must hold Myanmar to account for atrocities against Rohingya, other ethnic minorities – HRW


Human Rights Watch (HRW) calls for the Japanese government should publicly hold Myanmar to account for military atrocities committed against Rohingya and other ethnic minorities.

It should discourage Japanese investment that would benefit the military or at the expense of minority groups, HRW said in a statement. 

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader, was slated to speak in Tokyo  on October 21 at a conference sponsored by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to promote investment and business opportunities in Myanmar. When she has spoken at previous investment forums in Japan, Aung San Suu Kyi has downplayed or ignored the military’s serious abuses against the Rohingya. 

“The Japanese government has been pitifully reluctant to speak out against abuses by Myanmar’s military, so officials should use Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to raise these issues directly,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“Japan’s recent re-election to the UN Human Rights Council should encourage the government to improve its human rights foreign policy, including by calling on Japanese companies not to contribute to rights violations in Myanmar,”  Robertson added. 

Japan has not acted to hold the Myanmar government accountable for abuses, but instead has continued business as usual.  

Japanese investors should abide by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which provide that business enterprises have a responsibility to respect human rights by avoiding causing or contributing to human rights abuses through their own activities, and by seeking to prevent abuses that are directly linked to their operations by their business relationships.  

The Japanese government should cooperate with international efforts to pursue accountability for the Myanmar military’s crimes against the Rohingya.  (Source: HRW)