Myanmar envoy denies genocide against Rohingya Muslims

Myanmar's ambassador to Japan says there is no ethnic cleansing or genocide of Rohingya Muslims in his country despite violence that has led a half million of them to flee the country.

Ambassador Thurain Thant Zin told reporters in Tokyo on Thursday that the Myanmar government is prepared to help resettle all who have fled. He said crime and terrorist attacks were behind turmoil in the western state of Rakhine, not race or religion.

The U.N. secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, has urged Myanmar authorities to halt military operations that prompted the exodus from Rakhine into neighboring Bangladesh. He has described the crisis as ethnic cleansing and said it is a breeding ground for radicalization, criminals and traffickers.

Thurain Thant Zin reiterated the Myanmar government's denial of human rights abuses in Rakhine.