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Japan Demands Meeting With Aung San Suu Kyi - 2003-06-26


Japan has asked Burma for a meeting with detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Japan Deputy Foreign Minister Tetsuro Yano told reporters today (Thursday) that he asked Burma's home affairs minister to set up a meeting between the Nobel peace laureate and Japan's ambassador to Burma as soon as possible.

Wednesday, U.N. special envoy Razali Ismail said the United Nations is getting more and more alarmed about Aung San Suu Kyi's continued imprisonment.

She was detained May 30th after a deadly clash between members of her National League for Democracy and pro-government demonstrators.

Burma says it is holding her for her own protection against an unspecified assassination threat. But it has refused to say where she is or exactly when it will free her.

In Washington, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia James Kelly dismissed as nonsense Burma's claim that Aung San Suu Kyi's supporters provoked the May 30th fighting. He said pro-government thugs launched a pre-meditated attack.

Mr. Kelly also said the State Department is expanding visa restrictions on Burmese officials and preparing to freeze Burmese government assets in the United States.

Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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