With Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson (center), President of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), and Japanese Ambassador to Myanmar Ichiro Maruyama (right) who joined me at a press conference in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, Myanmar, on December 21, 2019.I visited Myanmar in late December last year to announce that The Nippon Foundation and the Japanese government will support the return and resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Kachin State in the north of the country.I made the announcement as Chairman of The Nippon Foundation and Special Envoy of the Japanese Government for National Reconciliation in Myanmar at a press conference in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, on December 21. Joining me were Japanese Ambassador to Myanmar Ichiro Maruyama and Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson, President of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC).Although conflicts are still occurring in some parts of northeast Myanmar with no ceasefire agreements reached, the Myanmar government, its military and ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) in northern Kachin State are making progress in their discussions on a ceasefire and the returns of IDPs. Under the circumstances, The Nippon Foundation and the Japanese government have accepted KBC’s request for building 500 houses to resettle about 3,000 IDPs in Kachin State as well as providing hygiene guidance, lifestyle consultation, and agricultural training and other income-generation support. I hope this will help those IDPs return home permanently and achieve stability in their lives. At the press conference, I stated that we had KBC look into what humanitarian assistance needs to be given and what the first step should be and, based on that, The Nippon Foundation and the Japanese government agreed to offer support.KBC’s Rev. Dr. Samson said that many IDPs in Kachin State are unable to return home by themselves and need some kind of help. Starting the program for the return of IDPs with assistance from the Japanese government and The Nippon Foundation is a very important first step toward a long-term settlement of the conflict, he added. It is my sincere hope that our assistance contributes to improving the humanitarian situation in Kachin State and reaching a ceasefire agreement as soon as possible, and that the Myanmar government, the military and ethnic armed organizations continue to make progress toward achieving national reconciliation eventually.
A number of journalists and camera crews covered the press conference.
Taking a photo with participants in the press conference and Kachin locals. Meeting with Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson, President of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), who is on the far right.Visiting houses built with the support from The Nippon Foundation. In the house I visited, I enjoy sewing. With 12 grandchildren, I am good at holding a baby.With beautiful ladies of a village. Visiting construction site of KBC’s vocational training center, supported by the Japanese government.