Connection between Financial Institutions and Merchants of Death

Monday, August 1, 2016

Japan - This paper illustrates the gap between four main Japanese banks policy and its implementation in terms of investment in weapons manufacturing companies – these four banks are Mitsubishi UFJ FG, Mizuho FG, Sumitomo Mitsui FG, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust HD. Chapter one explains the current trend of global banks’ investment, chapter two contains the aforementioned banks’ involvement with nuclear weapons and cluster bomb financing, and the last chapter provides our recommendations. This case study surveys Mitsubishi UFJ FG, Mizuho FG, Sumitomo Mitsui FG, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust HD’s involvement with nuclear weapons manufacturing companies and cluster bomb manufacturing companies based on two reports, “Don’t Bank on the Bomb – A Global Report on the Financing of Nuclear Weapons Producers” (published by PAX and iCAN in November 2015) and “Worldwide investments in Cluster Munitions – a shared responsibility” (published by PAX in November 2014). As the original survey, it includes Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) of Japan’s involvement with this sector as well.

According to our research, the four banks have financed approximately 1.4 trillion JPY on these companies while they have banned financing on uses for producing cluster bomb – a clear break between their policy and its implementation. Regarding GPIF’s involvement, they published their stock holdings in July 2016, which shows that they have stocks (387.3 billion JPY) and holdings (1.5 billion JPY) of those sectors.

Based on this research, we recommend three courses of action for Japanese banks. First, they should make a commitment to ban financing on both uses for producing cluster bomb and cluster bomb manufacturing companies. Second, they should make a commitment to ban financing on nuclear weapon manufacturing companies. Finally, they should enhance engagements with companies they invest in and withdraw their money from those companies.

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