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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 December 10 - 16  > Abenomics infrastructure export would damage lives of local people
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2014 December 10 - 16 [ECONOMY]

Abenomics infrastructure export would damage lives of local people

December 11, 2014
The Abenomics economic policy is looking to increase infrastructure exports by 300% to total 30 trillion yen in 2020 as part of the government growth strategy, benefitting only a small number of large Japanese multinationals while most likely damaging the daily lives of people in Japan and abroad.

A government-sponsored corporation was recently established. Its name is the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN). It will help facilitate Japanese business entities to conduct infrastructure development in newly industrializing countries.

The Land, Infrastructure, and Transport Ministry cited “demand risk” as the reason for the funding of 58.5 billion yen in taxpayer money to support the endeavor, explaining that private companies alone would face difficulty launching infrastructure projects outside Japan. This is tantamount to imposing potential risk on ordinary Japanese people and guaranteeing large private companies a profit.

The Japanese Communist Party opposed the establishment of the government-funded corporation, criticizing it as having no regard for local people and local environmental concerns as well as accelerating the hollowing out of domestic industries.

The government is promoting infrastructure exports under the auspices of Official Development Assistance (ODA) as well. Myanmar is one example. Japan provided ODA loans to a Japanese business establishment sponsored by Mitsubishi Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation, and Marubeni Corporation to develop industrial parks, business districts, and residential areas in a 2,400-hectare plot of land in Myanmar’s special economic zone Tirawa. This area will be for use mainly by Japanese companies, according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Some local people, however, will be under threat of eviction. Already 300 people from 68 families have been forced to move out. Mekong Watch, an environmental NGO, points out that many local residents are complaining about the loss of their farmland and their means of earning a living.

The Abe government also intends to sell Japan’s nuclear energy generation technology abroad. To India, for example, Prime Minister Abe himself visited and made a sales pitch for Japanese-made nuclear reactors together with Japan’s major plant manufacturers including Toshiba, Hitachi, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Anti-nuclear energy movements are, however, increasing in India. In Turkey as well, where the Abe government is proceeding with the plan to export Japanese-made nuclear reactors, a majority of the Turkish people oppose the building of nuclear power plants in their country.

Past related article:
> People in Turkey also do not want nuclear power [April 16, 2014]
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