Japan has pledged 135 billion yen (US$1.33 billion) to Myanmar as its Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi held bilateral talks yesterday on the sidelines of the ASEAN summits and related meetings in Vientiane, Laos.

According to Myanmar’s ASEAN affairs delegation, the two countries’ delegations discussed poverty alleviation and development of the agricultural sector in Myanmar, as well as prospects for the state counsellor visiting Japan later this year.

U Kyaw Zayra, director general of the ASEAN Affairs Department, said part of development assistance funds would go toward Myanmar’s ongoing peace process.

Ahead of the meeting between the two countries’ leaders this week, Hiroto Izumi, a special adviser for Mr Abe, visited Myanmar last month and met with the state counsellor.

The two discussed Japan’s activities in Myanmar, including the “Yangon city master plan” drafted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, agricultural development and the Thilawa special economic zone, which Japan has been instrumental in establishing.

Tokyo is also eager to host the state counsellor, according to U Kyaw Zayra.

“Japan invited the state counsellor to visit Japan as a priority and the visit might happen in late October,” he told The Myanmar Times.

Yesterday Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also sat for a bilateral meeting with the Vietnam delegation in Vientiane.

U Min Lwin, the top Myanmar envoy at the ASEAN secretariat in Jakarta, said Vietnamese investment in the telecommunications, banking and tourism sectors was discussed.

Link: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/yangon/22380-japan-offers-us-1-3-billion-to-myanmar-at-asean-summits.html