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International relations

Tokyo goes it alone in support of Myanmar and Cambodia

Japan offers economic aid with eye on crucial sea lanes in the region

Buddhist monks carry the Cambodian and Japanese flags. Japan provided assistance to the Southeast Asian country after its leading opposition party was dissolved.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan is digging in deeper in support of Myanmar and Cambodia even as the U.S. and Europe ramp up criticism of human rights violations, choosing to preserve its influence in the region by playing an alternative to China's economic might.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono was the lone voice advocating assistance for the Myanmar government when representatives from the U.S., U.K., France, Japan and other countries met on Sept. 24 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. They were there to discuss Myanmar's human rights violations against the Rohingya minority.

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