Japanese Journalist Detained in Myanmar

Security authorities in Myanmar detained a Japanese video journalist who was filming a demonstration against the military government in the nation’s main city of Yangon. 

The Japanese Embassy in Myanmar, which has not confirmed the identity of the video journalist, has claimed that the man was detained for questioning at a police station after he took photos of a protest on Saturday. 

Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara, in a press briefing, urged Myanmar to release “as early as possible” the video journalist who was later identified by Myanmar media as Tokyo-based documentary filmmaker Toru Kubota. 

Kihara added the Japanese government has made efforts to secure Kubota’s release. 

Kihara revealed that the Japanese government has gotten in touch with his family. 

This was not the first time that Myanmar has detained a Japanese journalist in February 2021. 

While covering anti-coup demonstrations in Yangon during the same month, freelance Japanese journalist Yuki Kitazumi was taken into custody by security personnel but was later freed.

Then, in April of that same year, Kitazumi was detained and charged with disseminating false information and breaking immigration laws. 

At the request of the Japanese government and other middlemen, Kitazumi was freed in May, and later that month, he came home.

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