Japan asks Myanmar Junta to Release Journalist

Japan on Monday has asked the Myanmar junta to release Japanese journalist Yuki Kitazumi who was arrested by the military in Yangon over the weekend.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato in a press briefing said that the Japanese government is now asking the military junta to release the journalist, which he did not identify.

Japanese media and Myanmar military-run state television have confirmed that that the detainee was Kitazumi, who was working in Yangon as a freelance journalist.

“We will continue asking the Myanmar side for his early release, while doing our utmost for the protection of Japanese citizens in that country,” the secretary said.

Myanmar state media said that Kitazumi was arrested on the charge of causing fear or spreading false news, violating Section 505(A) of the Penal Code, which carries a three-year jail term.

Japan’s foreign ministry said that Kitazumi is being held at Insein Prison in Yangon following his arrest at his home on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders has called on the international community amidst the Myanmar military’s publishing of a list of wanted journalists which have named at least 19 who the junta accuses of “spreading news to affect state stability” and charged under Section 505(A).

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