New US sanctions on Myanmar come as consumers and some businesses in the country are stepping up their opposition to a military coup earlier this month.
The US government announced the measures last week. They target 10 individuals connected to the military and three companies owned or controlled by Myanmar’s military.
The sanctions were apparently imposed only on some military-linked firms to minimize the impact on citizens’ lives.
The US stance is in line with growing public opposition to such companies. Their products have been the target of consumer boycotts.
In one case, a Yangon supermarket has removed from its shelves a beer made by a brewer financed by a military-related business.
The military coup has prompted some Japanese companies to reconsider their business strategy.
Brewer Kirin Holdings is scrapping a joint-venture in Myanmar with a conglomerate linked to the military.
An expert predicts that US sanctions may eventually have an impact beyond Myanmar’s borders.
Sophia University Professor Nemoto Kei said “Foreign firms that run joint ventures with military-linked companies could be banned from the US market. In the worst case, they may have to end the tie-ups or pull out.”