politics

Firm led by former Japanese minister linked to Myanmar military

23 Comments

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said it has only been supporting Japanese companies interested in the project, which is currently on hold with its participants still undecided.

One thing I think I have learned after all these years of living here, there is a huge difference between what Japanese companies or the government says, and what it does.

The former is for "face" the later is for making money, no matter the cost!

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Supporting a regime that kills its own people?

Why would anyone do that?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Always, always, always ... follow the money.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

That makes no sense. According to scientific theories everyone on this planet is linked to anyone else over a maximum of seven other (bridging) persons, if I remember it right. Maybe eight or nine, doesn’t play a role. So everybody, also you and me, can easily be linked to another person, for example the Myanmar military.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Vile, corrupt old men.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Whops, I guess this was not supposed to be released to the public.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Disgusting

5 ( +6 / -1 )

That makes no sense. According to scientific theories everyone on this planet is linked to anyone else over a maximum of seven other (bridging) persons, if I remember it right. Maybe eight or nine, doesn’t play a role. So everybody, also you and me, can easily be linked to another person, for example the Myanmar military.

This article really went over your head. First off you really are reaching here, next the manner you are talking about "linking" and the reality for this guy, is something totally different.

It's about money, not heritage!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Shocking, just shocking!", said nobody...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

According to Myanmar government documents and other sources, Watanabe's company registered a joint venture with a military-affiliated company in 2016. Executives of the company and the joint venture are comprised of senior members from the Japan Myanmar Association, including Watanabe and his son Yusuke, who serves as the secretary general of the association.

This won't feature in the local media., they will deliberately not report it out of self restraint.

Watanabe and his son and it isn't a problem.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why is this even news? This deal was made before the coup took place. Nobody expected that things would turn out like this and every company and infrastructure that was build was finance by some foreign country in order develop a country and earn some profit.

What about the weapons the military is using? Or the police gears they use to crack down on protestors? Or the foods and luxury the military is enjoying? Everything whether it's goods,money or infrastructures probably came from some other country.

I am 100% sure right now the nation is still trading with other nations and is still part of the ASEAN. Cash are literally still flowing into the country and ending up in the hands in charge of the nation.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No moral, no ethical and just greedy. Shame on you Hideo Watanabe.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What about the weapons the military is using? Or the police gears they use to crack down on protestors? Or the foods and luxury the military is enjoying? Everything whether it's goods,money or infrastructures probably came from some other country.

Myanmar manufactures much of their own small armored vehicles, small arms, mortars, mines, grenades, etc. domestically. They also build nearly all of their own warships, having a single South Korean built amphibious ship in their fleet. The frigates and patrol craft are all locally made. Their heavy armor, aircraft and artillery are sourced mostly from China and Russia, though interestingly they have some well kept WWII era artillery pieces left over from the British.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why is this even news? This deal was made before the coup took place. Nobody expected that things would turn out like this and every company and infrastructure that was build was finance by some foreign country in order develop a country and earn some profit.

Hiro has a point. The coup was completely unexpected. Since 2015 the west has been courting business in Myanmar to reward it for ending military rule and adopting some democratic processes. More development, more income and a higher standard of living were the goals so other nations would see benefit in abandoning their dictatorships and adopting more western styles of government. For Japan it was a chance to mend fences from WWII and build ties for the future. No one could have predicted the coup and now every big company with a division operating in Myanmar is faced with either opprobrium or taking a big loss on their investment there. Shareholders do not always share the concerns of bloggers btw so decisions may vary from company to company.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hirosan, good points. Whether they will take a stand now and pull back from joint junta cash runs will be the real teller from here though, won't it? Or just as you said, everyone else is doing business with the Myanmar military cabals and so shall we.

Worth a push and a spotlight just to see where the top boys stand, publically anyway.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Palms greasing palms. Or, as is customary in Japan, little brown envelopes being stuffed in pockets.

This is pathetic foreign policy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Palms greasing palms. Or, as is customary in Japan, little brown envelopes being stuffed in pockets.

This is pathetic foreign policy

Just playing the devils advocate but what does management tell the stockholders of a publicly traded corporation with exposure to Myanmar when the management out of a higher moral duty closes their Myanmar operation and takes a big loss that reduces stock value and dividends? Remember nobody had the slightest idea this coup was coming. Pretty much every one but the Tatmadaw thought Myanmar was on the road to greater democratization. Now what?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"but what does management tell the stockholders of a publicly traded corporation with exposure to Myanmar..."

Tell them whatever Appe, Pepis, Levi-Strauss and a host of US corporations told their shareholders when they unilaterally pulled out in the 90s, long before the US government announced sanctions.

Remember nobody had the slightest idea this coup was coming.

Everyone knew about the disturbing problems engulfing Myanmar, from several years back, such as the suppression of the Rohingya, Suu Kyi's acquiescence to the host of human rights and other violations, and the military's imperious stance in government.

Everyone knew (ask Suu Kyi's many critics in the West), except Japanese corporations - because they didn't want to know.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tell them whatever Appe, Pepis, Levi-Strauss and a host of US corporations told their shareholders when they unilaterally pulled out in the 90s, long before the US government announced sanctions.

I guess you missed the part about the end of the old junta and democratic elections in 2015 followed by the return of those very same corporations at the urging of the US, UK, Japan and others. After 2015 the west encouraged investment there to support the growth of democracy. That is why so many Japanese firms are there. Now they all had an ugly surprise, just like the rest of us.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No surprise here at all! I work with an investment firm that deals with elite customers from China, Vietnam. Most of these people are either Chinese Party elites or Vietnamese Party elites - Communist Parties. Guess who is giving these Party elites an extremely easy loan? Japan.

HSBC is more of a lenient bank for money laundering but not loans. Japan is the big, easy bank that loans money to authoritarian countries without any hurdle of politics and human rights. Most of these Party officials in China and Vietnam have extremely close ties with Japanese political elites, who invest massive money in China and Vietnam.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Greed conquers all. Japan is led by old men who worship money. They for sake the working class by not paying them fair wages. They subjugate women by paying them less than men and block their upward mobility In industry and government. Japan cannot compete with their peers in the world community. It ranks last among industrialized nations in reading its populace of Covid. Japanese men cannot adjust to the fast changing world situations because they are rigidly locked with the customs and morays of their forefathers

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Everyone who does business in Myanmar does business with the military now that they overthrew the democratically elected leaders.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Apart from his greed for money and basking in his self-aggrandizement via the vicarious thrill of hobnobbing among the big Kahunas of the Myanmar military, Watanabe no doubt is one of the numerous right-wing politicians prone to nostalgic hankerings for a Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere Redux. Lock him up!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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