At the outset, I would like to express my gratitude to Under-Secretary-General Jeffery Feltman and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten for their detailed and comprehensive briefing.
Japan is deeply concerned about the human rights and humanitarian conditions on the ground, the alleged killings of civilians and the displacement of over 620 thousand people to Bangladesh. Prime Minister Abe met with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on 14 November, and expressed his serious concerns over the situation in Rakhine State, as well as the expectation for the restoration of security in accordance with the law, the restoration of humanitarian access, and the safe and voluntary return of displaced persons.
Regarding the allegations of serious human rights violations, it is necessary to take action against all perpetrators, regardless of their origin or political position. When State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Nakane met with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services of Myanmar, on 20 November after the investigation carried out by the Armed Forces, he urged Senior General Min Aung Hlaing to take punitive measures against the alleged human rights abuses based on credible investigation.
The Government of Japan highly commends the dedicated efforts by Bangladesh to continuously respond to the current humanitarian needs. Indeed, Foreign Minister Kono visited a displaced persons’ camp in Cox’s Bazar on 19 November. Japan has decided to extend assistance of 18.6 million USD through international organizations for high priority needs such as food for displaced persons. We welcome the recent efforts by the Government of Myanmar to improve humanitarian access, including to WFP. We encourage the Government to further grant humanitarian access.
We welcome the arrangement signed by Myanmar and Bangladesh on 23 November on the return of displaced persons who had fled from Rakhine State to Bangladesh. We hope that the return process will be implemented steadily in accordance with the arrangement, and safe, voluntary and dignified return will be achieved. We also welcome the establishment of the Union Enterprise by the Government of Myanmar and its efforts to facilitate humanitarian assistance, the return of displaced persons, and the restoration of peace for the affected communities. Japan is ready to further support Bangladesh and Myanmar to move these efforts forward to improve the situation on the ground.
The international community should continue to closely follow the situation in Rakhine State and to support the efforts by the Government of Myanmar to seek long term solutions, including the implementation of the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State chaired by Dr. Kofi Annan, to address the root causes of this issue.