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Myanmar Crisis

Japan's Myanmar expats remit restaurant profits to defy military

Students, systems engineers, garment inspectors aid struggle by waiting tables

The Spring Revolution Restaurant in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district draws crowds of Myanmar people and Japanese alike. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- It has been nearly one year to the day since the Myanmar military ousted the country's democratically elected government and seized power. News reports of people protesting against the regime have become rare in recent months, but Myanmar residents living in Japan haven't given up on their homeland regaining democracy.

"We have been doing everything to oppose the military regime and support our people in our country," said Lae Lae Lwin, a nurse at a hospital in Tokyo. Her "everything," however, doesn't refer to nursing. It includes occasional attendance at protests and operating a Myanmar restaurant she opened last June in Tokyo.

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