Subject: [cwj 152] Greenpeace rails against Japanese aid agency in Bangkok
From: Corporate Watch in Japanese <>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 12:35:41 -0700
Seq: 152

Monday, May 21 6:08 PM SGT 

Greenpeace rails against Japanese aid agency in Bangkok

BANGKOK, May 21 (AFP) - 

Greenpeace staged a protest Monday at the Bangkok headquarters of Japan's
largest public bank for loans to developing countries, accusing it of
funding toxic fume-spewing incinerators in Thailand.

Members of the environmental activist group unfurled a massive yellow
banner that read "Japan: dioxin pusher. Stop incineration!" across the
facade of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

Some 20 activists gathered near the bank's entrance and held signs calling
on the bank to scuttle loans to incinerator projects in Thailand, including
the On-Nuch solid waste treatment center in Bangkok.

JBIC has also lent money to a coal power plant in Thailand, the group said.

"Greenpeace demands that JBIC, as the largest source of public funding for
projects in (Southeast Asia), immediately cancel all plans related to
financing dirty projects," the protestors said in a statement.

In addition to damaging the environment, incinerators were costly and
siphoned off funding that could be used more effectively for other
development projects, it said.

"The cost of incinerators in Japan has increased over ten years ... if
every developing country follows Japan's path, then we will use up all
available funds for development assistance," said Ayako Sekine, an
anti-toxics campaigner with Greenpeace's Japanese branch.

"Incinerators are costly end-of-pipe solutions to the worsening waste
problem. It is not only expensive, it also produces toxic emissions in the
form of dioxin, known to be fatal to human health," the statement said. 

Japan is the largest source of aid money for most development projects in
industrialising countries, Greenpeace said, adding that JBIC had issued
loans totalling 4.9 billion dollars in Southeast Asia in 1999.

Last month, the group warned that Japanese-built garbage incinerators on
the Thai resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui were damaging the health of
nearby residents.

The incinerators allegedly release dioxin at levels about 15 and 40 times
respectively the legal limit in Japan and Europe.

The group said people living within three kilometers (two miles) of the
plants risked inhaling airborne pollutants, consuming them in
locally-produced vegetables, eggs and milk or picking them up through soil

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