Myanmar apologises for journalist's death - Kyodo

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TOKYO, Sep 29 (Reuters) Japan strongly protested to Myanmar over the killing of a Japanese video journalist during an anti-government rally, and Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win offered apologies, Kyodo news agency said today.

Fifty-year-old Kenji Nagai was fatally wounded in Yangon on Thursday, and pictures smuggled out of the country showed him clutching a camera as he lay dying.

Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura made the protest when he met his Myanmar counterpart at UN headquarters in New York yesterday.

The death of Nagai ''was extremely regrettable and we will lodge a stern protest,'' Japanese officials quoted Komura as telling Nyan Win, Kyodo said.

Nyan Win told Komura he was indeed sorry for the death, telling Japanese officials: ''Demonstrations are beginning to calm down, and we would also like to exercise restraint,'' Kyodo said.

Japanese Foreign Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment.

Nagai was the first foreign victim of the protests that began as sporadic marches against fuel price hikes but have swelled over the past month into mass demonstrations against 45 years of military rule in Myanmar, which is also known as Burma.

REUTERS SW RK0935

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