TOKYO, Feb. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - At a Cabinet session on February 19, the Government of Japan named
Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa as its special representative
to help achieve ethnic reconciliation in Myanmar. The newly created
post has no fixed tenure.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference that
with the appointment of Sasakawa, Japan "will work to facilitate the
process of reconciliation between Myanmar's government and ethnic
minorities," which he said is expected to make progress.
Sasakawa's official title is "Special Envoy of the Government of Japan
for National Reconciliation in Myanmar." With his status as a national
civil servant with special duties, Sasakawa will represent the
Government of Japan in contacting the Myanmar government, ethnic
minorities and the governments of other countries in a bid to attain
The Nippon Foundation, a Tokyo-based philanthropic organization, has
long assisted Myanmar through such means as combating Hansen's disease
(Leprosy) and building schools since the days when that country was
under military rule. In June 2012, Sasakawa was assigned by the
government to act as "Goodwill Ambassador for Welfare of the National
Races in Myanmar."
He has since taken the lead in offering assistance such as the supply of
rice and medical goods to the areas that are home to the minorities.
Upon being named the Special Envoy, Sasakawa said "there would be no
unification and democratization of Myanmar without reconciliation among
the different ethnic groups," adding that he would perform his duties
fully aware of the heavy responsibility placed upon him.
Sasakawa's appointment by the Government of Japan is comparable to
similar responsibilities given in 2002 to Yasushi Akashi, former
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, to represent Japan to
help achieve peace and reconstruction in Sri Lanka.
SOURCE: Nippon Foundation
For further information:
Natsuko Tominaga / Makoto Wada
Public Relations Department
The Nippon Foundation