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Published on Sunday, 24 February 2013 20:02
Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa (Left). (Photo-Nwe Yin Aye)
The Japanese government appointed Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa as its special envoy to help reconciliation between Myanmar’s government and ethnic minorities in Myanmar at the Cabinet session on February 19, according to Nippon Foundation.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told 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.
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 national reconciliation.
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.
After being named the Special Envoy, Sasakawa said "There would be no unification and democratization of Myanmar without reconciliation among the different ethnic groups.”