The Japanese government confirmed that filmmaker Toru Kubota arrived home on Nov. 18 after his release in a prisoner amnesty in Burma. Kubota, 26, was sentenced to ten years in prison last month. Hirokazu Matsuno, the chief cabinet secretary in Japan’s government, said that the junta falsely stated that Kubota was freed because of pressure from Japanese officials. Japan has called for an immediate halt to all violence in Burma, and for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners. Japan support’s the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus.
Upon arrival home to Japan, Kubota revealed at a press conference that he was forced to hold a protest sign by junta officials after his arrest. “I was told to hold those signs for photo shoots just after we were arrested,” he said. Kubota said the photos of him holding an anti-coup protest banner, with several others, was staged on July 30, 2022. Junta spokesperson Zaw Min Tun himself displayed these photos and told regime media it was evidence that Kubota was participating in street protests in Yangon. Kubota was convicted of sedition and sentenced to 10 years. He was released in a prisoner amnesty on Nov. 17 and returned home to Tokyo the following day.