Tokyo might be touted as the ‘Sustainable Olympics’ but behind the high-tech veneer and fancy innovations, are major sponsors like Mizuho, SMBC and Tokio Marine who continue to promote dirty and outdated coal technology that is fueling the climate crisis.


The industry

Japan’s second largest bank by assets.

The involvement with coal

Since 2016 Mizuho have lent ¥1.4 trillion (US$12.8 billion) to coal plant developers, making them the biggest lender to coal in the world. They also play a central role in helping coal plant developers acquire capital through underwriting their share and bond issuance, to the tune of ¥569 billion (US$5.2 billion).

Member of the Board of Directors

Tatsufumi Sakai

Net income

¥448,893 million (FY 2018 (US$4.1 million)


30,301 (2018)

The greenwash

Mizuho released a new sustainable finance strategy in May 2019 to great fanfare and invests heavily in promoting its eco-friendliness. However, the reality is that the megabank continues to fund coal-fired power stations such as the highly polluting Van Phong 1 project in Vietnam, and has refused to rule out more in the future. Mizuho remains a multi-billion dollar coal backer.


The industry

Japanese bank/financial services company (affiliate Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation)

The involvement with coal

SMBC is the third largest private lender to coal plant developers in the world. They have recently financed the Nghi Son 2 coal-fired power plant in Vietnam, which utilises supercritical coal technology and has been challenged by local groups for apparent violations of the Equator Principles (a set of guidelines set by the private-sector for managing environmental and social risks when financing large-scale projects).

Director President (Representative Executive Officer)

Jun Ohta

Net income

¥3.812 trillion (FY 2017)(US$34.8 million)


28,482 (2019)

The greenwash

In 2018 SMBC declared a policy, in principle, of not financing coal unless the project uses ultra-super critical (USC) or more advanced technologies. Yet USC coal plants still emit more carbon dioxide than any other electricity source in the world, and as most Japanese developers build USC coal plants, SMBC is able to continue its business as usual.


The industry

The oldest insurance company in Japan, Tokio Marine is one of the world’s leading power and energy sector insurance companies. It operates mainly non-life insurance business in 39 countries.

The involvement with coal

Tokio Marine is the largest insurance underwriter in the power generation sector in Japan. As risk managers they play a silent but essential role in deciding which types of projects can be built and operated. Without their insurance, almost no new coal projects can get the green light.

President & Chief Executive Officer (Representative Director)

Shinichi Hirose

Net income

¥280 billion (FY 2018)(US$2.5 million)


39,191 (in 2018)

The greenwash

Tokio Marine may have ‘Protecting the Earth’ as one of its core strategic themes but its commitment to a sustainable global environment is variable. While the company has achieved carbon neutral status through CO2 fixation and reduction based on mangrove planting and Tradable Green Certificates, there’s no specific policy regarding CO2 emissions for the factories and power plants that Tokio Marine underwrites. This means they continue to enable the large-scale investment in climate-damaging fossil fuels.

1 Burden of Disease from Rising Coal-Fired Power Plant Emissions in Southeast Asia, Environmental Science & Technology, 2017.

Tell Japan: stop funding coal power

Join the global campaign to stop the Japanese government and the Olympic corporate sponsors from funding more coal-fired power stations.


Over 30 Groups Call on Olympics Gold Sponsor Tokio Marine to Drop Fossil Fuels

[Joint Press Statement] NGOs call on President Biden and Prime Minister Suga to take strong leadership on ending public support for coal, oil and gas at the U.S.-Japan Summit

Actions Around the World Put Tokio Marine on Notice

Sumitomo Corporation to face shareholder resolution at its AGM over climate inaction

[PRESS RELEASE] Japan’s Largest Bank Targeted by Climate Resolution

[Press Release] NGOs call on 39 JICA Bond Underwriters and Bondholders to urge JICA to Stop Supporting Coal Projects in Bangladesh and Indonesia

NGOs call on MUFG, SMBC and Mizuho to align with Paris Agreement

[Press Release] 128 organizations from 39 countries demand the Japanese government and companies to withdraw from Vung Ang 2 coal power plant project in Vietnam

The 2020 Scorecard on Insurance, Fossil Fuels and Climate Change: Tokio Marine, MS&AD and SOMPO ranks 18th out of 30 due to large exceptions in their policies

Evaluating the TCFD Recommendations Disclosures by the Three Japanese Megabanks

[Joint Statement] Japanese NGOs praise collective engagement by institutional investors calling for investees to withdraw from Vung Ang 2 coal-fired power plant in Vietnam

[NGO Press Release] Indonesian and Japanese NGOs call on both governments to stop the Indramayu Coal-fired Power Plant Expansion Project, West Java, Indonesia


Say no to coal and say it loud.