Few countries in the world face challenges as daunting as those faced by Myanmar. Suppressed by years of military rule, Myanmar ranks in the bottom quartile of all countries in the world in human development, doing business, governance, national stability, global competitiveness, and democratization. The world’s longest civil war has dragged on in Myanmar for 60 years, and it was only in the last decade that the country took its first steps away from military dictatorship.
In 2015, Sasakawa USA launched a program exploring prospects for U.S.-Japan cooperation in assisting Myanmar’s economic and political development. A conference on the topic included representatives from Myanmar itself, both government officials and private leaders; the U.S. and Japanese governments; and non-profit organizations and universities that provided a multi-faceted view of events and prospects in Myanmar. Conference participants also contributed papers, compiled into a book, that provided historical background on Myanmar’s development, information on its relationship with both the United States and Japan, descriptions of Myanmar’s needs and government plans to meet those needs, and accounts of current assistance activities by both the United States and Japan.
Japanese and American objectives for Myanmar reinforce the ambitions of Myanmar itself, and the activities of these two outside countries can complement one another in helping Myanmar achieve the prosperous and free future its people deserve. Sasakawa USA continues to build upon its successes within this program, and plans to explore new avenues for U.S.-Japan cooperation with respect to Myanmar in the future.
The United States and Japan: Assisting Myanmar’s Development
Authors: David I. Steinberg, Donald M. Seekins, Priscilla Clapp, Mary P. Callahan, Toshihiro Kudo, Satoru Kumagai, Vikram Nehru, Aung Myoe
Date: October 21, 2015
An historic, but still fragile, milestone for Myanmar
Author: James Kendall
Date: November 24, 2015
The American Stake in Myanmar and Sri Lanka
Author: Admiral Dennis Blair
Date: July 24, 2015
October 21, 2015
Sasakawa USA hosted an event on Capitol Hill as a follow up to our earlier conference on U.S.-Japan cooperation in Myanmar. With Myanmar’s elections looming at the time, this discussion focused on ways that the U.S. and Japan can work together to assist in Myanmar’s democratic transition, including on-the-ground efforts in capacity building. At the event, Sasakawa USA additionally released a report detailing its findings and recommendations for cooperation in this field.
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.