Urgent Sign-ons Requested:
Letter to call on JBIC to reject financing for Batang coal-fired power plant in Indonesia

--- Please distribute widely and respond directly to hatae@foejapan.org by September 24

September 18, 2015

We are writing to encourage your support for our international petition.

At the proposed project site of the controversial 2,000-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Batang, Central Java, Indonesia, further cases of human rights violations have been reported. Most recently, the Indonesian army has put the soil in some irrigation canals. It means the destruction of almost all the irrigation systems, as the necessary water flow to the farmland has been cut off. As a result, no water comes to the majority of farmlands which the landowners have not yet agreed to sell or to be acquired, and the farmers who haven’t yet sold the land cannot continue their farming.

Despite this serious human rights violation against the local community, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is still considering funding the coal plant in Batang, which will cost US$ 4 billion. Japanese companies, “J Power” Electric Power Development Co. and Itochu Corp, have already decided to invested in the project. And JBIC is planning to finance around US$ 1.6 billion.

To date, JBIC hasn't yet decided its finance for the project mainly due to the incompletion of the land acquisition. But the military has already destroyed the irrigation system even for the farmland which the landowners haven't yet sold, and the farmers who haven't yet sold their land cannot continue the farming due to no water. This situation might be used by JBIC as a excuse for the completion of land acquisition. And JBIC might make a loan agreement with the project proponent on the occasion of the deadline for the financial closure of this project, or around October 6, 2015.

Thus, we will submit the urgent petition attached here to call on JBIC to reject financing for the project, following its own environmental and social guidelines.

Ongoing and strong concerns regarding a loss of livelihoods, such as farming and fishing, have been raised persistently by local communities, and the project has been unable to proceed for nearly four years. 67 landowners who own some of the proposed project site are still refusing to sell their land.

In the end of July, three local villagers came to Japan to submit their objection to JBIC and talked directly to the Japanese decision-makers and public about the serious human rights violations they have experienced, such as intimidation and arbitrary arrest at the hands of the army, the police and the thugs. (https://sekitan.jp/jbic/?p=1184&lang=en)

Please support the Batang community by your ORGANIZATIONAL sign-on to this letter, and send the name of your organization to hatae@foejapan.org by September 24th. The letter will be submitted on September 25th.

We look forward to your organisation's signature!! Thank you.

The full text of the letter is available here:
> Urgent Request to Reject Providing the Japanese Public Fund for the Proposed Batang Coal-fired Power Plant, Central Java, Indonesia

* Batang Coal-fired Power Plant Project, Central Java, Indonesia
Two Japanese companies, J-POWER and ITOCHU, have already decided to invest in the project. Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is currently considering its finance for the project. The loan amount is allegedly around 40 percent of the entire project cost (approximately US$ 4 billion). If built, the power plants (2,000 MW) will be one of the biggest coal-fired power plants in Southeast Asia. See more details (only available in Japanese) https://www.foejapan.org/aid/jbic02/batang/index.html