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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 March 23 - 29  > JCP urges gov’t-funded bank to not finance Indonesian project that is causing human rights violations
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2016 March 23 - 29 [ECONOMY]

JCP urges gov’t-funded bank to not finance Indonesian project that is causing human rights violations

March 25, 2016
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Kurabayashi Akiko on March 23 in a Diet committee meeting demanded that a government-funded bank not finance a coal-fired power plant construction project in Indonesia that is causing serious human rights violations.

The government-funded Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is considering financing a project to construct a coal-fired thermal power plant in Batang, Indonesia. Under the project, a vast area of farmland is planned to be turned into a huge plant site. The JBIC is considering providing a loan of 2.1 billion dollars (around 235 billion yen) for the project. The export of coal-fired thermal power stations is one of the pillars of the Abe government’s strategy to promote overseas sales of electricity generation infrastructure systems.

Since its announcement, the construction project has frequently caused human rights violations including physical violence by the pro-project forces against local farmers who refuse to sell their land.

In a House of Councilors Financial Affairs Committee meeting, JCP Kurabayashi pointed out that fences are set up around the planned construction site to prevent local farmers from gaining access to their farmland.

Indonesia’s National Human Rights Commission has sent a letter to the Japanese government and the Diet, stating that various human rights infringements regarding the project have been observed, including physical and mental threats against local residents. The letter calls for the respect for human rights and careful review of the project.

Kurabayashi stressed that the problems of the project are obvious under the JBIC’s guidelines for social and environmental considerations and urged the bank not to finance the project.

Past related articles:
> Japanese firms’ infrastructure export provokes negative consequences [July 21, 2015]
> Don’t use taxpayer money for coal-fired energy projects abroad: environmental NGOs [February 16, 2014]
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