Japan pledges major strategic investment in Burma which had been under China’s sway

Myanmar's President Thein Sein, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Dec. 15.  /AP/Kimimasa Mayama

Myanmar’s President Thein Sein, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Dec. 15. /AP/Kimimasa Mayama

During the ASEAN-Japan Summit held Dec. 13-15 in Tokyo, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met individually with each of the attending ASEAN nations’ leaders. But none of the ten meetings was more consequential than the one with Burma’s leader during which Prime Minister Abe pledged a whopping $610 million in additional aid to the strategically important Southeast Asian country. Burma (Myanmar), shares historical ties that still evokes strong sentiments among the older politicians in Japan. During World War II, Japan took Burma from British rule and made it a strategic stronghold against allied war efforts that centered in China.

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