Myanmar police on Saturday detained a Japanese man who was taking part in an anti-coup protest in Yangon, local media reported.
The Japanese Embassy in Myanmar said Sunday it has requested the release of the man in his 20s, reported to be documentary filmmaker Toru Kubota. He is being held for questioning at a police station in Yangon, the embassy said without confirming his identity.
The man was with protesters in the South Dagon Township area and was detained along with two Myanmarese, the reports said. The police confiscated their belongings including a camera.
The Southeast Asian country has been under military rule since February 2021 when the democratically elected government was deposed and many of its leaders, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, were arrested.
Yuki Kitazumi, a Japanese freelance journalist, was arrested in April 2021 in Yangon and indicted for spreading false information and violating visa stipulations. He was released the following month at the request of the Japanese government and other intermediaries.
Following the latest detention of a Japanese national, about 100 people, including Myanmar nationals living in Japan and Kitazumi, held a rally in Tokyo on Sunday to urge the authorities in Myanmar to "release all people who have been illegally detained immediately."
Kitazumi said Kubota, whom he met around 2018, has been making documentary films about Myanmar since when he was a student.
"I'm very shocked to hear that he was detained and I can't forgive (the Myanmar authorities)," the 46-year-old said.
Citizens in Myanmar continue to protest the military rule despite its violent crackdowns on protesters.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights group monitoring the situation in the country, more than 14,900 people have been detained so far since the coup. The death toll from the crackdown has risen to over 2,130.