-  Monday 24 February 2020

Japan to review Nepal policy

 KATHMANDU: Japan favours “review” of its overall political policy towards Nepal based on the current situation with special reference to last week’s royal statement reiterating the roadmap first made public on February 1, 2005, director of southwest division in the Japanese foreign office, Shinsuke Shimizu, told a select group of print journalists here today.
At the end of his two-day visit to Nepal, the young diplomatic functionary from the Land of the Rising Sun said Tokyo had taken a very strong exception to the royal government’s crackdown on the mainline political leaders and other activists, especially their continued incarceration on grounds of perfectly legitimate “democratic dissent” and demand for restoration of democracy.
“Japan is firmly opposed to application of violence to settle what essentially is a political dispute,” he said, reaffirming Japanese conviction that since there was no military solution to the ongoing insurgency in Nepal, “the monarch and the political parties should bury their hatchet and agree on an effective strategy to resolve the crisis”. He arrived here yesterday from India on a sort of fact-finding trip. “The mood in India is one of concern,” he added.
Shimizu declined to divulge the details of the talks he had with foreign minister Ramesh Nath Pandey and off-detention second-rung leaders of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and Nepali Congress (Democratic), but gave enough indication that Tokyo was not amused with the government’s high-handed tactics to muzzle the voice of the opposition.



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