Channel NewsAsia

Japan in highest-level army visit to Myanmar since WWII

The Japanese military's top officer held meetings with his Myanmar counterpart on Tuesday, officials said, the first visit of Japan's highest-ranking army officer to the country since World War II.

YANGON: The Japanese military's top officer held meetings with his Myanmar counterpart on Tuesday, officials said, the first visit of Japan's highest-ranking army officer to the country since World War II.

General Shigeru Iwasaki, chief of staff of the Japanese Self Defence Forces Joint Staff, met Myanmar army chief Min Aung Hlaing in the capital Nay Pyi Taw as part of a four day trip to the former military-run nation, according to an information ministry official.

He will on Wednesday meet President Thein Sein, who has been credited for a wealth of political and economic reforms.

Japan has had no military ties with Myanmar since 1945, when its three year occupation of the country came to an end with an Allied counter attack.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Myanmar in May 2013 -- the first visit by a Japanese premier since 1977.

Tokyo has maintained trade ties and has ramped up investment as well as forgiving 300 billion yen ($3 billion) of the 500 billion yen owed by Myanmar.

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