Asia

Aung San Suu Kyi meets Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Nobel laureate and Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (L) shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe's official residence in Tokyo 18 April 2013.
Image caption Ms Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate, is widely respected in Japan

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during her first visit to Japan in 27 years.

Mr Abe said he supported Burma's reforms, pledging to help Burma "in building its future".

Aung San Suu Kyi told reporters about the need to stop communal violence in Burma through the "rule of law".

She was last in Japan in 1986, when she worked as a researcher in Kyoto University.

Her week-long visit, which analysts say has highlighted Japan's interest in investing in Burma, ends on Friday.

When asked about the recent communal violence in Burma, Ms Suu Kyi said she opposed violence "committed by anybody against anybody".

"We must learn to accommodate those with different views, but if we want our people to sort out differences we must give them security," she added.

Last month more than 40 people died in clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in the central Burmese town of Meiktila.

Activists have criticised Ms Suu Kyi for not speaking out more forcefully against the violence.

They say that Ms Suu Kyi, who was detained for most of the last two decades because of her efforts to bring democracy to military-ruled Burma, has the moral authority to speak up for Burma's minorities.

Meanwhile, reports from Brussels say the European Union is preparing to lift most sanctions against Burma on Monday - except those on arms sales - in recognition of Burma's reform process.

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