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Ex-Japan football captain Makoto Hasebe visits Rohingya refugee camp

  • Published at 05:20 am June 8th, 2019
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Makoto Hasebe, who serves as Japan's national UNICEF goodwill ambassador, visits a Muslim Rohingya refugee camp in southern Bangladesh to call greater attention to the refugees' plight, on June 6, 2019 Twitter

He said he wants the world community to solve the refugee problem as soon as possible

Soccer player Makoto Hasebe—who serves as Japan’s national UNICEF goodwill ambassador—visited a Rohingya refugee camp, in southern Bangladesh, on Thursday, to call for greater attention to the refugees’ plight.

At a press briefing in Dhaka following his visit, the Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder lamented that children at the camp on the border with Myanmar—a country from where the UN refugee agency says more than 720,000 Rohingya have fled since August 2017—are deprived of proper education and medical facilities, reports The Japan Times.

Earlier in the day, the former Japan captain played soccer with Rohingya children on a muddy field at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar; one of the largest camps of its kind, where roughly 600,000 refugees live.

Hasebe, who also visited a Syrian refugee camp in Greece, in November—as the goodwill ambassador of the Japan Committee for the UN Children’s Fund—told reporters that he was surprised by the scale of refugee concentration in Cox’s Bazar.

Hasebe said he wants to urge the world community to tackle the refugee problem and solve it as soon as possible.

The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority in the predominantly Buddhist Myanmar. Many fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, starting in August 2017, to escape a military crackdown in the Southeast Asian country.

Many fear for their safety if they were to return as part of a stalled repatriation process – agreed to between Myanmar and Bangladesh late last year.

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