Energy Shift Southeast Asia

Japan’s ‘disastrous and harmful’ LNG financing sparks protests around the world

Community-led petition and demonstrations call on Japan’s export credit agency–Japan Bank for International Cooperation–to end environmental and community harms arising from LNG projects  

Fishermen, local communities, indigenous groups, and environmental advocates across the globe denounced Japan and its export credit agency Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)–expressing opposition to the country’s public finance for liquified natural gas (LNG) projects that leads to “disastrous and harmful” environmental and human rights impacts. 

The protests, led by frontline communities in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, the United States, Mozambique, Canada, and Australia, sought to draw G7 climate, energy, and environment ministers’ attention to the injustices surrounding the impacts of Japan’s LNG financing to biodiversity, livelihood, and community safety and persuade Japan to end community harms by ceasing its fossil fuel finance. 

According to a report by Oil Change International and Friends of the Earth United States, Japan provided an annual average of $6.9 billion for fossil fuels compared to $2.3 billion for clean energy between 2020 and 2022–despite the International Energy Agency’s statement that no new upstream gas projects and LNG terminal should be built to meet the climate thresholds. 

Japan is also the leading supporter of upstream fossil fuel projects, providing $2.5 billion annually, which accounts for nearly half (49%) of all upstream fossil fuel finance, despite the G7 commitment to end international public financing for fossil fuel projects,

“There is an evident pattern across LNG projects financed by JBIC. They are disastrous for climate change and even more so for the livelihoods, health, and security of local communities, biodiversity, and human rights,” the groups said in a joint petition. “Japan uses public funds to bolster a gas empire while attempting to mask LNG as a clean and necessary alternative to coal – it isn’t; gas can be as bad as coal for the climate. [JBIC-funded LNG projects] exacerbate biodiversity loss, decimate livelihoods, inflict long-term health repercussions, and forcibly displaced indigenous and local communities.” 

The petition is released amid JBIC’s investigation on whether it failed to follow its own social and environmental guidelines in financing the first LNG import terminal in the Philippines’ Verde Island Passage, known as the “Amazon of the Oceans” and “Center of the Center of Marine Biodiversity.” The investigation was prompted by an earlier petition filed by local fishermen and frontline community members–citing the project’s impacts on livelihoods, as well as lack of conversion permit, tree-cutting permit, and environmental compliance. 

According to the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED), JBIC is the biggest fossil gas financier in Southeast Asia with total loans issued at USD 3.3 billion since the Paris Agreement. Aside from the LNG import terminal in the Philippines, JBIC’s LNG portfolio in Southeast Asia includes: upstream to downstream projects in Indonesia (Tangguh LNG in West Papua, Donggi Senoro LNG in Central Sulawesi, and Jawa 1 Gas-to-Power in West Java) and Thailand (a gas power plant supplied by Map Ta Phut LNG import terminal), which have caused a sharp decline in fish yields and restrictions to traditional hunting and fishing grounds.

JBIC also supports projects in Australia, Canada, and Mozambique directly and indirectly affecting community safety and Indigenous rights. In Australia, the Barossa gas and the Scarborough gas field development projects have gone without free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) from traditional land owners, while in Canada, the lack of FPIC from Indigenous Wet’suwet’en Nation to the pipeline project, which is an indivisible part of the JBIC-financed LNG export facility, led to the violent oppression of peaceful land defenders. In Mozambique, a JBIC-backed project is set to restart amid escalating turmoil fueled by insurgent attacks as project operator TotalEnergies refused civilian victims refuge at its project site. 

JBIC’s projects are also feared to cause long-term harm following explosions and numerous gas leak accidents in the US–causing severe health issues, such as asthma, heart diseases, and cancer in local communities. The groups also said JBIC’s projects threaten to drive higher electricity prices, which will further drag the quality of life in developing nations, including Bangladesh. 

“Around the world, [we] urge JBIC and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida to stop financing fossil gas and contribute to a full, fair, fast, funded, and feminist energy transition to renewable energy,” the petition reads. 

For more information, please access: 

Petition (link)
Media briefer (link
Action Photos (link)

For media inquiries: 
Hiroki Osada, FoE Japan:
Anj Dacanay, Center for Energy, Ecology and Development:
Angeli Cantillana, Global Strategic Communications Council:


Chief Na’Moks, Hereditary Chief of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, Canada: “What the banks do affects everyone globally. Your decisions and investments affect the future of everyone on this planet, make decisions and banking decisions wisely and with care and commitment for future generations.”

Manop Sanit, fisherman, Rayong Clean Energy Coordinator, Thailand: “The construction of the LNG terminal has impacted the habitats of young aquatic animals and coastal ecosystems in Rayong Province, which is an important source of livelihood for local fishermen. Furthermore, the sea reclamation and expansion of the port, including Map Ta Phut Phase 3, will directly affect fisheries. Fossil fuels are violating the rights of our community and fossil fuel finance must end now.”

Gerry Arances, Executive Director, Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development: ”Through JBIC, the Japanese government used public funds to support an LNG project in the Verde Island Passage that is destructive to communities and biodiversity, and has violations against Philippine national law. Japan is wreaking havoc all over Southeast Asia and the world with LNG and other fossil-friendly technologies, undermining our potential for a 100% renewable energy transition and the climate survival of vulnerable peoples.”

Mr. Fanny Tri Jambore, Head of Campaign Division, WALHI, Indonesia: “JBIC-supported gas projects in Indonesia, such as the Jawa 1 Gas-to-Power in West Java, Donggi-Senoro LNG in Central Sulawesi, and Tangguh LNG in West Papua, have caused significant environmental damage, reducing or even loss of people’s sources of livelihood, as well as forced displacement of indigenous peoples and local communities. With so many negative consequences for the environment and human rights, and in the middle of global boiling, there is no reason for Japan to continue supporting fossil gas projects.”

Ms. Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator, Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD): “Japan cannot continue its long and dirty path leading Asia towards climate collapse. JBIC has been strangling communities in the Global South with its gas plants. We must reject Japanese financing of fossil fuels.”

Mr. Hasan Mehedi, Chief Executive, Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network (CLEAN), Bangladesh: “Japan’s energy finance is leading Bangladesh into a debt trap by promoting the unnecessary fossil fuel power system. Electricity produced from LNG costs ten times more than electricity generated from domestic fuels, making it unaffordable for communities in Bangladesh. Besides, JBIC aims to finance Integrated Energy and Power Master Plan’s (IEPMP) false solutions, including LNG. This suggests JBIC’s inclination for dirty energy expansion in Bangladesh”

Ms Anabela Lemos / Justiça Ambiental / Friends of the Earth Mozambique: In Mozambique, JBIC is supporting the Mozambique LNG project which is linked to violent conflict, is causing harm to local communities and ecosystems, and has unfair benefit sharing terms that promise embarrassingly low revenues to its host country. The contracts are structured so that total revenues due to Mozambique would be realistically around USD 3,4 billion in today’s value, and 70 per cent would be received after 2040. In addition, Mozambique would be set to lose out on between USD 717 million and USD 1,4 billion because of the use of unethical tax avoidance structures. Should the project proceed, these are revenues that are critically important to prevent worsening socio-economic conditions and address other root causes of the conflict. Instead of supporting development and human wellbeing, gas projects are indebting a poor country, and creating conditions that play a role in spurring insurgency.” 

Somnuck Jongmeewasin, Ph.D. ( He/ Him/ His), Research Director, EEC Watch, Thailand: “A method that will help reduce the price of electricity for Thai people nationwide is to increase the proportion of the (true) renewable energy sources in Thailand in electricity generation while reducing the reliance on natural gas and imported LNG which has now become the main source of fuel for electricity generation in Thailand. In addition, natural gas prices fluctuate according to factors from outside the country that no one in Thailand can control. The added benefit of this energy transition will lead Thailand to sustainable electricity generation in the era of global boiling”

Jeffrey Jacoby, Deputy Director, Texas Campaign for Environment: “When Japan and JBIC invest billions in the global gas trade, they also invest in environmental racism, destruction of local fisheries, air and water pollution, economic inequality and even more devastating climate-fueled disasters in Texas, Louisiana and the entire U.S. Gulf South. By committing to LNG, Japan is sentencing people in Freeport, Texas – where the LNG plant exploded in 2022 – and Cameron Parish, Louisiana – where fishermen report huge reductions in their catch since the LNGs came to town – to a generation of harms. Is it really worth it, JBIC?”

Hiroki Osada, Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Japan: “Through JBIC, Japan is still funnelling billions of dollars into the fossil gas industry, claiming that LNG is clean and necessary for Asia. But the reality is the exact opposite. JBIC-funded LNG projects across the world are hurting communities, destroying the livelihoods of fisherfolk and farmers, inflicting health crises, human rights violations, and loss of marine biodiversity. LNG is extremely harmful. Its fossil gas financing also means that Japan is breaking the G7 leaders’ commitment to stop public support to fossil fuels by the end of 2022. It’s time for Japan to say #Sayonara (Goodbye) fossil gas.”

Trevor Carroll, Fossil Fuel Exports Organizer, Texas Campaign for the Environment: “If people want to know how Japanese financing of methane gas projects impact the gulf coast, there is a picture of Freeport LNG shooting a fireball 450 ft into the air. That day, when a vapor cloud explosion shook people’s homes, released toxic emissions into the air and injured beach goers, nearby residents saw exactly what the dangers of methane gas are. And this wasn’t an isolated incident. The operational problems and lack of oversight that led to the Freeport explosion exist at LNG facilities all across the Gulf Coast. It is shameful that the Japanese government is financing these destructive LNG projects. It’s unacceptable and once the Japanese public hear the horror stories from the communities impacted by their government’s investments, they will think it’s unacceptable too.”

Makiko Arima, Senior Finance Campaigner, Oil Change International: “At a time when we need to phase out fossil fuels, Japan is driving gas expansion across Asia and globally. Last month, Japan approved over $2.7 billion dollars in financing for new gas projects in Vietnam, Australia and Mexico, breaking its G7 promise to end public finance for overseas fossil fuel projects. Japan is especially active in promoting gas in Asia through the Asia Zero Emissions Community initiative, which is just greenwashing designed to benefit Japanese corporate interests. Japan must keep its G7 commitment to end fossil financing and stop supporting projects that harm communities and the planet.”