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Japan state-funded hotel deal pays rent to Myanmar defence ministry

23 March 2021

...A consortium of private Japanese firms and a Japanese state entity paid rent on a multi-million dollar hotel and office development that ultimately went to Myanmar’s defence ministry, six company and government officials told Reuters.

It is the first time Japan has acknowledged the project benefits Myanmar’s defence ministry, which is controlled by the military under the country’s constitution. The payments, starting in 2017, are not illegal but are potentially embarrassing for Japan given United Nations investigators have alleged human rights abuses by Myanmar’s military. Reuters could not determine how much rent was actually paid to the defence ministry...

Myanmar’s defence ministry and the military junta could not be reached for comment...

Each party to the Y Complex deal told Reuters they thought the rent, which was paid by an intermediary, ultimately was going to Myanmar’s government, not the military.

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Fujita, Tokyo Tatemono and JOIN declined comment on how much rent has been paid and how much ended up with the Myanmar defence ministry...

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Construction was suspended after the coup due to concerns over worker safety, said JOIN, which is 95% owned by the Japanese government. Representatives of each of those parties told Reuters the rent payments were made via its local partner Yangon Technical and Trading (YTT), a subsidiary of privately held Myanmar conglomerate Ayeyar Hinthar which has interests in agriculture, banking, healthcare and property.

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