Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Erywan Yusof, ASEAN's special envoy to Myanmar, agreed Thursday to work closely on finding a breakthrough in the political crisis stemming from the Feb. 1 military coup in the Southeast Asian country.
Motegi told Erywan, Brunei's second foreign minister, during their roughly 30-minute phone talks it is important for the envoy to visit Myanmar "at an early date" and to engage in dialogue not only with the military but pro-democracy forces as well, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
Civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi of the National League for Democracy and many of the party's senior members remain in detention after the military takeover.
Motegi was quoted by the ministry as telling Erywan that Japan will provide "maximum support," citing its provision of humanitarian assistance to Myanmar of food and medical equipment worth more than $20 million since the coup.
Erywan, who was appointed as special envoy by foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in their meeting last week, said he would carry out the task while taking into account the advice from Japan, according to the ministry.
Although Japan has condemned the military's violent crackdown on peaceful protesters and called for a halt to violence, the release of Suu Kyi and other detainees and a return to the democratic process, it has not joined the United States and other democracies in imposing sanctions on individuals and groups involved.