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Japan pursues economic ties with Myanmar, avoids Rohingya criticism

Two countries agree to cooperate on urban development, infrastructure

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, welcomes Myanmar President Htin Kyaw in Tokyo on Dec. 14. (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a summit meeting with Myanmar President Htin Kyaw in Tokyo on Thursday, at which the two leaders agreed to cooperate in the areas of urban development, transportation and power infrastructure in the Southeast Asian country.

The meeting came amid growing international criticism of Myanmar for human rights violations on Rohingya Muslims in the country's northwestern Rakhine state. Though Abe expressed "concern" at the meeting, Japan has remained somewhat quiet on the issue in an apparent bid to prioritize economic ties with Myanmar.

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