Japan gives five suggestions to Myanmar for faster Rohingya return

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has pushed Myanmar to speed up the process of taking back Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh with a five-point advice to the Myanmar authorities.

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 7 August 2018, 06:03 PM
Updated : 7 August 2018, 06:03 PM

Press Secretary at the Japan foreign ministry Takeshi Osuga briefing a select group of reporters in Dhaka after the bilateral meeting on Tuesday said Kono told his counterpart AH Mahmood Ali what he had shared with the Myanmar authorities during his visit before Bangladesh.

Kono came to Dhaka on Tuesday for a brief visit from Myanmar.

The press secretary said it is “very rare” that Japan foreign minister visit a country twice in a year. But he visited both Bangladesh and Myanmar two times within six months.

“It was because he saw some positive developments regarding the Rakhine State such as setting up independent enquiry commission by the Myanmar government and signing of MoU between Myanmar and the UN agencies.”

Nearly 700,000 Rohingyas fled ‘ethnic cleansing’ from the Rakhine State since August last year and took shelter in Cox’s Bazar.

Kono encouraged Myanmar government to take “concrete steps” for safe, voluntary and dignified return of Rohingyas.

The Japan’s five points advice to Myanmar include – to fully cooperate with independent commission of enquiry for steady implementation of the investigation in a reliable and transparent manner as soon as possible, fully cooperate with UN agencies based on the MoU conclude with the UNHCR and UNDP to improve the environment for the return and resettlement of the displaced person and third is that to close as soon as possible the internal displaced people camps, IDP camps, in the central Rakhine State to give Rohingyas in Bangladesh a confidence.

The fourth Japanese advice was to expedite the process of creating proper environment including housing to show that there is a nice place to go back, and the fifth was to conduct regular briefing by Myanmar government directly to the people in the camps in Bangladesh to improve communication.

The press secretary said they shared those so that the Bangladesh foreign minister to be better prepared before his visit to Myanmar from Aug 9.

Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali at the joint briefing said Kono and he shared their views on the process for early repatriation and their subsequent resettlement.

“Japan understands that there is compelling reason to create conducive atmosphere in Rakhine State of Myanmar for safe and sustainable return of the Rohingyas and we have shared some specific proposals in this direction,” he said.

“We agreed on the vital importance of stability in the region for building stronger economic partnership between our two countries and early realization of safe and secure return of the Rohingyas is the key.”

The foreign minister said Japan has agreed to provide necessary support towards realisation of repatriation and resettlement of the Rohingyas.

During his meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Japanese foreign minister raised the issue of Rakhine and “highly evaluated” the generous acceptance and assistance by the Bangladesh government for the refugees.

He expressed his intention to support based on the repatriation deal signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The prime minister explained the assistance Bangladesh is providing and both of them agreed to keep “closely in touch” on this issue.

The Japanese foreign minister will leave for Russia after mid-night.