Melbourne – Yohei Sasakawa, Japan’s special envoy for national reconciliation in Myanmar, has revealed the U.S government’s seeking his help to free journalist, who was sentenced to 11 years with hard labor in Myanmar by the military court, on 18 November, according to Kyodo news agency.
The Nippon Foundation chairman paid a week-long visit to Myanmar, which the Japanese government claimed not involved in his visit but of his personal visit, had met with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Commander-in-Chief of the Tatmadaw – the armed force known in Myanmar.
During an interview with the Kyodo news agency, Mr Sasakawa said that even before the U.S government made the request of him, given his good connections with Myanmar’s military top brass, he has been urging the military leaders to release the journalist.
Myanmar military authorities said that the jailed Daniel Fenster – a U.S journalist, was freed at the request of Mr Sasakawa in the light of friendly relations between Japan and Myanmar on humanitarian grounds.
Mr Sasakawa is a well-known figure among ethnic armed organizations as he has mediated peace talks between the military and ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) and became one of the few witness signatories at the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in 2015.
Mr Sasakawa headed the mission dispatched by the Japanese government in Myanmar and also met with Aung San Suu Kyi during her government from 2016 – 2020.