In Japan, a Myanmar goalkeeper will be granted refuge


On Friday, according to rumours, Japan would provide shelter to a Myanmar national team footballer who raised an anti-coup salute during a match near Tokyo and refused to return home (Aug 13).
As the national anthem played before a World Cup qualifier against Japan in May, substitute goalkeeper Pyae Lyan Aung raised the three-finger salute.
He went on to say that he had decided to seek refuge in Japan since returning to Myanmar would put his life “in risk.”
According to a local monitoring group, the country has been in upheaval since the military’s February coup, with over 900 people killed and over 7,000 detained in a brutal crackdown.
Protesters have regularly employed the three-finger salute as a gesture of defiance during rallies.
Several major Japanese news sites reported that the government had agreed to award the player refugee status, citing unidentified sources. The footballer’s lawyer told AFP that he was unaware of the outcome of the asylum application but that his client was scheduled to appear at the Osaka immigration office on Aug 20.
Each year, Japan only accepts a few dozens of asylum claims. However, Myanmar residents already in the nation will be entitled to extend their stays as an emergency measure, according to the Justice Ministry.
Two personnel from Myanmar’s embassy in Tokyo were fired in May, as the junta fired diplomatic staff worldwide who opposed the coup.


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