An coalition of global organisations lead by Friends of the Earth Japan is calling on Japan to stop financing LNG projects.

If you would like to add your voice, please sign the petition here on Change.org

While people are reeling from the ever-intensifying heat waves, floods, droughts, and typhoons brought on by the climate crisis, the Japanese government continues to funnel billions of dollars into fossil fuels. Not only is this in direct contrast to the outcome of COP28 to phase out fossil fuels, but it is also destroying the health and livelihoods of the local population.

For example, in the Gulf Coast of the United States, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal financed by the Japanese government has been marred by numerous explosions and gas leaks. They release hazardous air pollutants into the air, inflicting severe health repercussions such as asthma, heart disease, and cancer upon local communities, particularly communities of color.

In the Verde Island Passage of the Philippines, which is hailed as the “Amazon of the Oceans,” the government issued a Cease and Desist Order against a controversial LNG terminal backed by JBIC, because of confirmed violations—such as tree cutting, land conversion, and environmental compliance.

Japanese-financed gas projects are also destroying local people’s livelihoods. For example, in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi, West Papua, and West Java provinces, fishing restrictions, limited access to traditional hunting and fishing grounds, and a sharp decline in fish yields are already exacting a toll on fisherfolk and farmers. In Rayong Province, Thailand, an LNG terminal has adversely affected various species of sea animals, which are important to the local economy. However, communities are left behind without fair compensation. In Mozambique, a Japan-supported LNG project emits enormous amounts of carbon dioxide, already destroying the country’s land, local economy, and precious nature.

In Canada, the hereditary chiefs of the indigenous Wet’suweten First Nation have been voicing their opposition to the pipeline to protect the land and water resources they traditionally use, but they have been suppressed, resulting in numerous arrests and solidarity protests across the country. The Japanese government is financing an LNG terminal project that is integral to the pipeline. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination issued a resolution calling for a pause in the project. Similarly, in Australia, the development of gas fields on Tiwi Island and in the Pilbara region is proceeding without consultation with the Traditional Owners. The Japanese government is also involved in these projects.

The Japanese government touts LNG as a “clean” alternative to coal and it continues to invest billions of U.S. dollars in fossil gas projects through public institutions such as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). But the Japanese government’s support has resulted in loss of biodiversity, destruction of livelihoods, health hazards, and forced relocation of indigenous and local residents.

In the Verde Island Passage (VIP) in the Philippines, where JBIC supported the development of the country’s first LNG import terminal, communities took a critical step forward by filing a complaint to JBIC on potential safeguard violations. JBIC is currently investigating whether it failed to follow its own social and environmental guidelines.

Prime Minister Kishida must now end Japan and JBIC’s fossil fuel financing. We urge Prime Minister Kishida and JBIC to stop financing fossil gas and contribute to a full, fair, fast, funded, and feminist energy transition to renewable energy.