A senior Japanese official left for Myanmar on Sunday to convey international concerns over a deadly crackdown on anti-government protests, and to urge its leaders to take steps toward democracy.
China - Myanmar's main economic and political ally - also pressed the country's military rulers to use peaceful means to restore stability, amid growing calls for Beijing to exercise more influence to resolve the situation.
Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka was set to arrive in Myanmar's biggest city, Yangon, on Sunday evening, a Foreign Ministry official said on condition of anonymity, citing policy.
Meetings were being arranged between Yabunaka and Myanmar's Foreign Minister Nyan Win and Home Affairs Minister Maj. Gen. Maung Oo, Japan's Kyodo News agency reported.
The Japanese official said he could not confirm the agency's report.