Business / Corporate

Mega-bank MUFG to ban loans to makers of nukes, but not missiles

Kyodo

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. will ban the provision of financing for the production of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, a recent revision to the major financial group’s guidelines says.

The revisions to Mitsubishi UFJ’s Environmental and Social Policy Framework take effect July 1, making it the first of the nation’s three mega-banks to explicitly ban financing for making atomic weapons.

A Mitsubishi UFJ official said the revisions reflect “broad perceptions in the international community about the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons.”

However, the guidelines do not specifically ban the lender from engaging in dealings with nuclear-related companies and businesses involved in the manufacturing of missiles capable of carrying atomic weapons.

Mitsubishi UFJ and the two other mega-banks — Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. — have refrained from investing in and extending loans to companies involved in making nuclear weapons and missiles.

But the three lenders stopped short of specifically banning financial dealings related to the production of nuclear weapons.

In the revised guidelines, Mitsubishi UFJ states, “In light of the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons, biological and chemical weapons, and anti-personnel mines, core subsidiaries prohibit the provision of financing for the production of these weapons.”

“Nuclear weapons, biological and chemical weapons, and anti-personnel mines, which are produced for use in wars and conflicts and have indiscriminate and serious effects on people including civilians, are internationally accorded great humanitarian concern, along with cluster munitions,” it said.

Another major bank, Resona Holdings Inc., has guidelines prohibiting it from investing in nuclear weapons, anti-personnel mines and other fields as well.

A Resona official said the Osaka-based lender drew up the rules in March 2018 due to rising international criticism of business engagement with companies involved in developing and manufacturing WMDs.

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