Democracy and Human Rights Program
What is the Myanmar Military’s Intention in Releasing Prisoners: The Stance Required of ASEAN Countries [in Japanese]
Summary On November 24, 2022, Asahi Shimbun published an article by Professor Maiko Ichihara, GGR researcher and member of the Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of Law. On November 17, Japanese filmmaker Toru Kubota, who had been detained by the Myanmar military for a long time, was released as one of the 5,800 people eligible to receive a "pardon." Professor Ichihara pointed out that behind this "pardon" release was the intention of the Myanmar junta to have ASEAN recognize its leaders as the "head of the Myanmar government" and invite them to ASEAN conferences. Furthermore, the professor also emphasized the need for countries in the Asia-Pacific region to work together in encircling the Myanmar military regime in order to develop Asia’s foreign affairs with ASEAN at the center as well as to draw attention to Myanmar's problems, which are increasingly falling out of the media's focus. Finally, she argued that ASEAN could assert its centrality by working with private actors to accelerate the acceptance of Myanmar refugees.