Japan, Myanmar, and Thailand have signed an agreement for the mutual development of the Dawei Special Economic Zone in Myanmar, IHS Maritime reported on 6 July.
The agreement was signed in Tokyo on 4 July, on the sidelines of the 7th Mekong-Japan Summit.
Representatives of China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, attended the summit.
If successful, the project will allow cargo to bypass the narrow and congested Strait of Malacca to forge shorter trade routes from the Middle East and Africa to China and Japan. One reason for Japan's interest in the project is to counter Thailand's influence the article said.
It is a significant step-up for Japan's involvement in the region and is backed by JPY750 billion (USD6.1 billion) in Official Development Assistance loans assigned by Tokyo earlier in 2015