The United States and Japan: Assisting Myanmar’s Development
On March 25, 2015, Sasakawa USA hosted a full-day conference on current conditions in Myanmar, ongoing Japanese and U.S. programs in the country, and the primary remaining challenges in Myanmar’s transition to a prosperous, democratic state. For a full agenda, click here.
Myanmar is in the midst of significant socio-political and economic change, and in 2015 will hold national elections, which could lead to greater democratic evolution. There has been a flow of foreign aid and investment into the country since Myanmar began its transition from decades of military rule. Japan has been a leader for many years in assisting the country, while the United States began to assist following the partial lifting of sanctions. International financial institutions and many other donors have been active. China continues as a strong influence, and Indian interests have expanded.
Although positive changes are apparent, overall progress has been uneven and many challenges remain. Myanmar is attempting to solve decades-long conflicts among ethnic tribes and with the national government, raise the living standards of its people through economic development and move toward greater democratic governance. The needs are substantial, and it is crucial for outside assistance to achieve the greatest possible results.
• Hon. Derek Mitchell, U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar • H.E. U Kyaw Myo Htut, Myanmar Ambassador to the U.S. • Hon. Jim Webb, Former U.S. Senator from Virginia • Admiral Dennis Blair, USN (ret.), Chairman and CEO, Sasakawa USA • Daniel Bob, Senior Fellow and Director of Programs, Sasakawa USA • Dr. Zaw Oo, Executive Director of Myanmar Development Resource Institute’s Center for Economic and Social Development • Dr. Toshihiro Kudo, Director-General, Research Planning Department, Institute for Developing Economies • Vikram Nehru, Senior Associate, Asia Program Carnegie Endowment for International Peace • Dr. Donald Seekins, Professor of Southeast Asian Studies, Meio University • H.E. U Set Aung, Deputy Governor Central Bank of Myanmar • Takehiro Yasui, Director in charge of Myanmar Operations at JICA • Jason Foley, Deputy Assistant Administrator for East Asia, USAID • Yun Sun, Fellow, East Asia Program, Henry E. Stimson Center • Dr. Aung Myoe, Professor, Graduate School of International Relations, International University of Japan • Dr. Mary Callahan, Associate Professor, University of Washington • Lt. Gen. Noboru Yamaguchi, JGSDF National Defense Academy of Japan • Dr. David Steinberg, Visiting Scholar, Southeast Asia Studies Program Johns Hopkins • Priscilla Clapp,former Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Burma • Min Zaw Oo, Director of Cease Fire Negotiation and Implementation, Myanmar Peace Center of Burma • Frank Jannuzi, President and CEO, Mansfield Foundation • Kanji Yamanouchi, Economic Minister, Embassy of Japan • James Schoff, Senior Associate, Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace