The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has recently issued a blueprint that proposes industrial development in Southeast Burma/Myanmar, purportedly to aid in the return and settlement of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Karen and Mon States. The blueprint is officially called the Preparatory Survey for the Integrated Regional Development for Ethnic Minorities in the South-East Myanmar: Final Report. It is intended to guide Japanese investment in Karen and Mon States.
However, KPSN, a network of nearly 30 ethnic Karen organizations in Burma/Myanmar, warns JICA that this JICA's blueprint for infrastructure development such as roads and industrial estates in the war-torn southeast is premature and flawed, potentially exacerbating conflict in the region.
This report provides KPSN's brief analysis on JICA's blueprint and calls on the Japanese government to reform its plan and way of doing business, offering concrete recommendations for engaging with the people of Southeast Myanmar.