At the margin of the ASEAN+3 Summit Meeting in Phnom Penh, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi held bilateral meetings on 5 November 2002 with Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of the Kingdom of Thailand, and Prime Minister Than Shwe of the Union of Myanmar (Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)). The following is a summary of those meetings.
3. Japan-Myanmar Summit Meeting
(1) Prime Minister Koizumi stated that in order for Myanmar to succeed in its nation-building and peace-building efforts, the government needed to make its own efforts toward democratization.
(2) In response, Prime Minister Than Shwe explained Myanmar’s efforts toward democratization, outlining the points as follow:
(a) Since her release in May, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been free to visit anywhere inside of Myanmar, including all of the development project sites such as dams, bridges and irrigation facilities. Moreover, the National League for Democracy (NLD) is free to engage in political activities. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is soon scheduled to visit Irrawady Division, a major region both in terms of economy and population. In addition, she has met with relevant ministers of the government on 13 occasions and with a liaison officer 107 times;
(b) In order to comprehend Myanmar issues, it is important not to confine Myanmar’s political situations into the relations between himself (Prime Minister Than Shwe) and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, but also to consider the fact that there are 135 ethnic minorities in Myanmar with their own complex problems.
(3) Prime Minister Koizumi made the following statements:
(a) He understands the points pointed out by Prime Minister Than Shwe;
(b) The international community expects that the efforts toward democratization would contribute to nation-building and peace-building, and Prime Minister Koizumi would like to encourage Prime Minister Than Shwe to make efforts toward reforms;
(c) He understands Prime Minister Than Shwe’s request not to simplify Myanmar’s political situations to the terms between him and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. However, it is also important to understand that the international community views Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as the symbol of democratization.