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Japan can play 'big peace role' -by

Subject: Japan can play 'big peace role' -by Aung San Suu Kyi

Asahi Evening News-Monday, February 26, 1996
Suu Kyi urges Japanese to work harder for world peace
By Saburo Ito
Asashi Shimbun
Rangoon- Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi urges the normally l=
Japanese people to raise their voices for the promotion of peace, in a re=
interview with Asahi Shimbun.
	The interview was held in conjunction with Suu Kyi this month becoming a=
member of the Asahi Shimbun international forum, Create 21, Asahi. The fo=
rum was=20
created in 1991 as part of the newspaper=92s efforts to offer views and=20
suggestions on Japan=92s role in the next century. Other forum participan=
include former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez and novelist Ken=
Oe, both Nobel Prize Laureates.
	In recalling her stay in Kyoto in 1985 and 1986, Suu Kyi said =93I felt=20
that many Japanese people cared about more than just bussiness. But I thi=
nk the=20
consciousness of some Japanese people perhaps needs to be aroused a bit, =
(there is a) need to give voice to the many, many people in Japan who do =
about peace and justice. =93Perhaps those who care about peace and justic=
e are not=20
speaking loudly enough.=94 The 50-year-old Burmese peace activist said th=
Japanese people were in a unique position to push for peace because of th=
historical experience.
	=93The Japanese people have a lot to contribute to peace because they ha=
known the horrors of war and ...the benefits of peace,=94 she said. =93Ja=
pan has=20
changed tremendously since the end of World War II. Japan has found how m=
uch you=20
can benefit under peace... and a democratic system that guarantees human=20
rights,=94 she said. In order for Japan to play a positive role in promot=
peace, however, Suu Kyi urged the Japanese =93not to just sit and hope th=
at peace=20
will come.=94 =93I think the Japanese people must study how peace is link=
ed to=20
justice, to human rights and to democracy and to do what they can to prom=
it,=94 she said.
	She said Japan had many lessons to provide in the development of Burma.=20
As the leader of the National League for Democracy, Suu Kyi was placed un=
house arrest in 1989 by the ruling junta. She was awarded the Nobel Peace=
in 1991. The ruling junta released her from house arrest and lifted the b=
an on=20
her political activity in July 1995. =93Since Japan is a country that has=
and developed and progressed very much under a democratic system, I feel =
that the people of Japan would sympathize with our desire for democracy.=94=
said. =93The desire of the people of Burma for democracy is based on the=20
conviction that only if we have a system that guarantees basic human righ=
ts will=20
we be able to make genuine progress.=94
	Suu Kyi also expressed her belief that as an economic superpower, Japan=20
was in a position to serve as a role model for Burma and other Asian nati=
=93Japan as the leading economic nation not just in Asia, but in the worl=
d, has a=20
duty to make people understand that economic growth is not everything, bu=
t it is=20
the development of the people, the happiness and fulfillment of the peopl=
e that=20
is most important.=94 On a more personal level, Suu Kyi said the developm=
ent of=20
democracy in Burma would allow her to revisist Japan.
	=93As soon as we get democracy, I should be able to travel abroad,=94she=
said. =93So if you want me to come to visit Japan soon, you must help us =
achieve democracy quickly.=94 She recollected fond memories of her time i=
n Kyoto.=20
=93I have always been fortunate that I like the places where I have to li=
ve.=94 she=20
said. =93And the longer I stayed in Kyoto, the more I like it. So I was s=
ad when I=20
had to leave Kyoto.=94
	She said the neighborhood where she lived in Kyoto had a village=20
atmosphere and she became very good friends with the people she met there.

Information committee
Burma Youth Volunteer Association-Japan