Radio Mundo Real

25 de septiembre de 2015 | | | | | | |

Say No!: Japanese bank must pull finance for dirty energy project in Indonesia, which is violating human rights even before implementation

FFriends of the Earth Japan issued an urgent call to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to respect its own environmental and social guidelines and reject financing for a 2,000-megawatt-coal-fired plant in Batang, Central Java, Indonesia.

Friends of the Earth Japan issued a widely-circulated letter with this call to different parts of the world, seeking support from other regions of the world. The urgent letter was sent last Friday to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. (See

The Batang plant would cost US$4 billion dollars of which the Japanese financial institution would provide US$1.6 billion. Japanese companies "J Power" Electric Power Development and Itochu have also already decided to invest in the project.

Friends of the Earth Japan regrets that the JBIC is considering funding the coal-fired plant in Batang "despite the serious human rights violation against the local community" the project has caused.The environmental activists point out that the Indonesian army has put and leveled the soil in the majority of farmlands which the landowners haven’t yet agreed to sell for the project.

"67 landowners who own some of the proposed project site are still refusing to sell their land", states the petition. The local community has persistently stated their concern regarding the loss of livelihoods, especially farming and fishing. The project has been stalled for nearly four years.

According to Friends of the Earth Japan, the JBIC has not yet decided to fund the Batang plant, precisely because of the incomplete land acquisition process. However, the activists fear that the actions of the army leveling the lands might be used as an "excuse" by the Bank to interpret that the land acquisition process has been finalized.
They warn that the financial institution could agree a loan with the project proponent "on the occasion of the deadline for the financial closure of this project, or around October 6, 2015".

In the end of July, three local villagers of the community that is resisting the Batang coal plant visited Japan to submit their objection to JBIC and talked directly to Japanese decision-makers and the public about the serious human rights violations they have experienced. For instance, they have been intimidated and arbitrarily arrested by the Indonesian army, the police and thugs.

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