Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights situation of Myanmar at the 10th Session of the Human Rights Council

Interactive Dialogue with SR on Myanmar

Japan’s Statement

Geneva,17 March 2009
Permanent Mission of Japan in Geneva

Thank you, Mr. President.

We welcome the submission of the report to the Council by the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Quintana, as well as his presence here today for an interactive dialogue.

The Government of Japan appreciates Myanmar’s positive attitudes toward cooperation with the international community, which includes accepting the visits of the Special Rapporteur and the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General, Mr. Gambari earlier this year as well as the release of political prisoners since late February. We believe it is important for the international community to acknowledge and respond to such positive developments in Myanmar.

Japan expects the Government of Myanmar to continue the release of political prisoners and to proceed with the democratic process in such a manner as all the parties concerned can participate in the process, so that the 2010 general election will be blessed by the international community. In this regard, we support the Special Rapporteur’s recommendation on the implementation of the four core human rights elements, namely,
(1) review of national legislation in accordance with the new constitution and international human rights obligations,
(2) progressive release of prisoners of conscience,
(3) establishment of training programme on human rights for members of the armed forces, and
(4) judicial reform to establish an independent and impartial judiciary.
Japan hopes that the Government of Myanmar will accept capacity-building assistance from the international community, including through the OHCHR, to this end.

Finally, we would like to ask a question to the Special Rapporteur on prison reform, which is one of the areas where the Government of Japan would like to enhance cooperation with Myanmar. We would like to hear the thoughts of the Special Rapporteur, based on your visits to prisons in Myanmar, on how the international community could better help Myanmar’s efforts in prison reform.

I thank Mr. President and Mr. Special Rapporteur.