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Japan Envoy Goes to Myanmar over Newsman's Death

Reuters
Sunday, 30 Sep 2007 | 7:25 PM ET

A Japanese envoy flew to Myanmar on Sunday to urge the military government to thoroughly investigate the killing of a Japanese journalist during an anti-government rally and not to use force to end mass protests.

Video journalist Kenji Nagai, 50, was fatally wounded in Yangon on Thursday, apparently shot by a soldier firing at point-blank range.

"One (purpose) is to make sure there is a full investigation into the dreadful incident and to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals," Deputy Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka told reporters at Narita airport.

"The other is to deliver to them the voice of the international community, which hopes for the use of dialogue, not force, in handling pro-democracy movements," Yabunaka said.

Nagai is the first foreign victim of the protests that began as sporadic marches against fuel price hikes but have swelled over the past month into mass demonstrations against 45 years of military rule in Myanmar, which is also known as Burma.