01.JPG

 

 

Photographer Kenji Nagai, 50, was shot dead on a Yangon street on Thursday. Pictures smuggled out of the country showed him taking photos with a small camera even as he lay dying.

—————————————————————————————-

TOKYO (Reuters) – A Japanese photographer has been killed during a government crackdown on a democracy demonstration in the Myanmar capital of Yangon, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

Tokyo will protest to the Myanmar government over the incident, Kyodo news agency quoted Japan’s top government spokesman as saying.

“We will protest to the Myanmar government and seek clarification of the truth,” Kyodo quoted Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura as telling reporters.

“We hope appropriate measures will be taken to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals.”

Myanmar’s foreign ministry told Japan’s embassy in Yangon that a man who appeared to be Japanese had been found dead.

Embassy staff went to the hospital to investigate and made checks with his family and the man’s employers that showed that the man was 50-year-old photographer Kenji Nagai, the ministry said in a statement.

Japan’s deputy foreign minister Hitoshi Kimura summoned Myanmar ambassador Hla Myint earlier to urge the government to exercise restraint in dealing with the demonstrations, after troops fired shots and hundreds of monks were detained.

Reports of the Japanese man’s death came in as the two were meeting and Kimura asked the matter be dealt with appropriately, a foreign ministry official said. The Myanmar ambassador said that the incident was regrettable, the official said.

The leader of a small Japanese opposition party called on the government to halt all official development assistance to Myanmar except for humanitarian aid, Kyodo said.

Japan has in the past been criticized for not taking a hard line on Myanmar’s military government. Machimura said earlier that Japan would watch the situation for a while before deciding whether to apply sanctions.

Two Japanese reporters were expelled from Yangon on Wednesday, Kyodo said.

Myanmar rarely issues working visas to journalists and Yangon’s embassies around the world are known to keep blacklists of reporters who are routinely refused even tourist visas.

The two Bangkok-based reporters, Kazuya Endo of Kyodo and Koji Hirata of Japan’s regional Chunichi Shimbun, were escorted to the airport by government officials before leaving the country on Wednesday, Kyodo said.

Myanmar’s generals accused the foreign media on Thursday of publishing a “skyful of lies” about the crackdown in which several people have died. Hundreds of democracy activists protested outside the Myanmar embassy in Tokyo on Thursday.

——————————————————————————————–

Image: Courtesy Reuters

 

 

 

Advertisements