Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on May 26 pledged a fresh aid of 91 billion JPY to Myanmar, while waiving the 190 billion JPY debt owed by the country in a bid to support the Southeast Asian country’s growth.

The pledge came up following Prime Minister Abe’s talks with Myanmar President Thein Sein in Yangon. Abe’s visit to Myanmar from May 24-26 was the first made by a Japanese PM since 1977.

A joint statement issued afterwards stated that the two leaders agreed to lay "a new foundation for bilateral friendship" by boosting cooperation in economic, political and security fields, as well as interpersonal and cultural exchanges.

Japan will also provide a new loan worth some 51 billion JPY to help Myanmar develop infrastructure together with a grant and technical assistance worth 40 billion JPY in the fiscal 2013.

The two leaders have agreed to enhance dialogues on security and regional issues, and promote cooperation and exchange between their defense authorities.-VNA