Japan: 42 CSOs submit petition urging govt. to sever business and economic connection with Myanmar military
"[Joint Petition] Japan Must Review All Economic Cooperation Projects in Myanmar", 1 June 2021
Four months have passed since the Myanmar military’s coup d’etat on February 1, 2021.
In order to immediately sever the connection between military businesses and economic cooperation from Japan, we again demand the following of the Japanese government.
- To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA): Publicly state to the international community that no new assistance will be provided to Myanmar except for “humanitarian assistance/emergency assistance.” (English Translation. Original in Japanese)
- To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA: Among the Official Development Assistance projects for which Exchanges of Notes have been signed with the Myanmar government since 2013, disclose those projects for which the bidding process has not been completed. Suspend those projects for which the bidding process has not been completed until a democratic government is restored, and publicly state to the international community that those projects will be suspended.
- To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA: Among the Official Development Assistance projects for which Exchange of Notes have been signed with the Myanmar government since 2013, for the projects for which the bidding process has been completed, immediately suspend disbursements. In addition, investigate whether the suppliers for the main contractors include companies with links to the Myanmar military as listed by the United Nations fact-finding mission , and if such companies are among the suppliers, publicly disclose that fact. In the case that disbursements are not suspended, in light of the fact that the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank of which Japan is respectively the largest and second largest shareholder have suspended disbursements to Myanmar, explain why JICA is not able to take similar measures.
- To the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN): Among the five projects in Myanmar in which JOIN invests, with regard to the Thilawa Area Port Bulk Terminal Project and the Thilawa Area Port Terminal Operation Project in which JOIN has a BOT agreement and a concession agreement with the Myanmar Port Authority, sever ties with the Myanmar Port Authority which is effectively controlled by the Myanmar military. Regarding the Yankin Urban Development Project which utilizes land owned by Myanmar’s Ministry of Construction, if the land lease payments cannot be prevented from generating income for the military, we demand that JOIN withdraw from the project. Regarding the Landmark Project, investigate whether the project would benefit the military including through profits, and if it is impossible to prevent the project from benefitting the military, we demand that JOIN withdraw from the project. As to the Redevelopment of the Defence Services Museum Site Project in Yangon (commonly known as Y Complex), because the site is owned by the Ministry of Defence which is practically one and the same as the military, it is impossible to discontinue the connection with the military. Therefore, we demand that JOIN withdraw from the project. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism should instruct JOIN so as to ensure that JOIN takes these actions.
- To the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC): Immediately cancel the loan for the Y Complex project. Suspend loans for other projects in Myanmar, and urgently investigate whether companies with links to the Myanmar military are involved in those projects, or whether the implementation of those projects would economically benefit the military under current circumstances, and suspend loans for projects found to have connections to the military. The Ministry of Finance should instruct JBIC so as to ensure it takes these measures.
- To the Japanese government: Instruct private companies in Japan that conduct business in Myanmar to sever ties to the Myanmar military, and provide assistance to ensure such severance. With regard to companies that refuse to sever ties with the military, in light of the Japanese government’s Development Cooperation Charter and the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, immediately cancel public assistance. [...]