Japanese Journalist Reportedly Detained in Myanmar Charged With Sedition
© AP PhotoA police truck sprays water to a crowd of protesters in Naypyitaw, Myanmar on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.
© AP Photo
TOKYO (Sputnik) - A Japanese journalist Toru Kubota detained in Myanmar has been charged with sedition and violation of the country's immigration control law, the Jiji Press news agency reported on Thursday, citing Myanmar's military.
On July 31, the Myanmar police detained a Japanese citizen, documentary filmmaker Toru Kubota, for filming protests against the military government. According to the Myanmar media, he was taken to a police station in Yangon, where his personal belongings, including equipment, were seized.
The Japanese journalist, according to the military, entered Myanmar on a tourist visa and contacted demonstrators prior to the protest, the report said.
The Japanese government demanded the immediate release of the journalist on Monday.
© AP Photo / Yuri KageyamaImages of Toru Kubota, a Japanese journalist detained in Myanmar while covering a protest, are displayed at the Japan Press Club in Tokyo, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022
Images of Toru Kubota, a Japanese journalist detained in Myanmar while covering a protest, are displayed at the Japan Press Club in Tokyo, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022
© AP Photo / Yuri Kageyama
Military government spokesman Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun on Tuesday confirmed the fact of Kubota's detention to the Japanese broadcaster NHK.
Kubota is the second Japanese journalist detained in Myanmar after Yuki Kitazumi, who was arrested in April last year and eventually released at the request of the Japanese government and other intermediaries, according to the Kyodo news agency.
In February 2021, the military grabbed power in Myanmar using a constitutional mechanism of transferring power in an emergency situation. The military arrested government officials, accusing them of rigging the general election, and later appointed a new administration.
The actions of the military caused a massive protest movement, which after months of street clashes, in which more than 1,000 people were killed, turned into an armed struggle against the military government. The opposition has created an underground alternative government of national unity, which includes former members of the toppled National League for Democracy party and representatives of ethnic political forces, which call for protests and armed struggle.