Japan's top government spokesman on Monday welcomed ASEAN leaders' agreement on the need to put an immediate stop to the violence in Myanmar, where security forces continue their deadly crackdown on protestors against February's military coup.
The five-point consensus reached at a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Saturday is the "first step toward improving the situation," Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a press conference.
In addition to calling for a halt to the violence, the consensus states constructive dialogue will be held to seek a peaceful resolution to the crisis, facilitated by a special envoy of the ASEAN chair.
Kato also reiterated calls for the swift release of those detained by Myanmar's security forces, but declined to comment on the participation at the summit of Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, which has been criticized as legitimizing the junta.
Since the Feb. 1 military coup, more than 750 people have been killed and more than 3,400 are currently in detention, including ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the democratically elected government, according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a human rights group monitoring the situation.
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