Tell Kirin: End Your Partnership With Burma's Army

Kirin Holding Company President and CEO Yoshinori Isozaki

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Sign the petition and join the boycott of Kirin and its many products!        

Through Kirin's joint venture with Burmese military-owned Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings, Kirin is legitimizing the military and providing them with profits as they face accusations of genocide in the UN's top court.

Moreover, Amnesty International has revealed that Kirin’s subsidiary in Myanmar (Burma) actually made three donations to the Burmese military during the army’s offensive in 2017 that forced over 700,000 Rohingya civilians to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. The head of the Burmese military who directed the atrocities against the Rohingya was filmed receiving one of these donations from Kirin's affiliate and explicitly noted that it was for the security forces.

The United Nations-mandated International Independent Fact-Finding Mission recently urged the international community to "sever ties with Myanmar's military and the vast web of companies it controls and relies on" as "any foreign business activity involving the Tatmadaw (military) and its conglomerates MEHL and MEC poses a high risk of contributing to, or being linked to, violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. At a minimum, these foreign companies are contributing to supporting the Tatmadaw's financial capacity."

Kirin has a significant interest in American craft brewer, Brooklyn Brewery, and has recently acquired Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing, one of the largest craft beer companies in the US whose flagship label, Fat Tire, is sold in stores and restaurants across the US. Kirin is also known for its Kirin Ichiban brand beer, Four Roses Distillery in Kentucky, San Miguel Brewery of the Philippines, and the Coca-Cola Company of Northern New England, and a significant interest in American craft brewer, Brooklyn Brewery. This makes Kirin and its products highly vulnerable to consumer pressure and brand boycotts.

The Kirin Holding's investment with Burma's military is part of Japan's plans to invest in Myanmar while downplaying the Burmese army’s egregious attacks on civilians. The Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) has organized several investment seminars about business opportunities for Japanese companies, including one focused on investments in Rakhine State.

It’s time to send a message to Kirin Holdings that will reverberate to other Japanese companies and indeed corporations worldwide: by doing business with Burma's genocidal generals, corporations are risking their brands, their shareholders, and their customers. There can be no "business as usual" with genocide.


For More Information:

“Dirty List: Kirin Holdings,” Burma Campaign UK

Kirin Holdings: Group Companies List

The economic interests of the Myanmar military,” United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission, September 2019

Japan: Investigate brewer Kirin over payment to Myanmar military amid ethnic cleansing of Rohingya,” Amnesty International, 14 June 2018

Kirin restructures donation policy after Amnesty report,” Myanmar Times, 11 January 2019

Japan continues to help Myanmar whitewash the Rohingya crisis,” Teppei Kasai, Japan Times, 25 August 2019

"Resetting Myanmar Policy," Global Witness, September 2019


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To: Kirin Holding Company President and CEO Yoshinori Isozaki
From: [Your Name]

We demand that Kirin Holdings exit its joint venture, Myanmar Breweries, with the Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings, which is controlled by and for the benefit of the military. This partnership both legitimizes the military and provides the Burmese army with profits.

By signing this petition, we publicly pledge to boycott Kirin Holdings and the companies that it owns. We will pursue this boycott until Kirin Holdings exits all investments and partnerships with companies owned or controlled by the Myanmar military. Being in partnership with a genocidal army is bad for Kirin's reputation, brands, and businesses.

We are appalled that Kirin has made payments directly to Burma's army. Amnesty International has revealed that Kirin’s subsidiary in Burma actually made three donations to the Burmese military during the army’s offensive in 2017 against Rohingya civilians in Rakhine State. The head of the Burmese military was filmed receiving a donation which he said was for the security forces.

The United Nations-mandated International Independent Fact-Finding Mission recently urged the international community to "sever ties with Myanmar's military and the vast web of companies it controls and relies on" as "any foreign business activity involving the Tatmadaw (military) and its conglomerates MEHL and MEC poses a high risk of contributing to, or being linked to, violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. At a minimum, these foreign companies are contributing to supporting the Tatmadaw's financial capacity."

Kirin is a company that is vulnerable to pressure from consumers. It is noted for its Kirin Ichiban brand beer. Kirin also owns the Coca-Cola Company of Northern New England. Kirin also owns Four Roses Distillery in Kentucky and a significant interest in American craft brewer, Brooklyn Brewery.

Our message to Kirin Holdings is that, by doing business with Burma’s genocidal generals, Kirin is putting at risk its brands, its shareholders, and its customers. There can be no “business as usual” with genocide.

Until you exit your joint venture, Myanmar Breweries, with the Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings, we will publicly boycott Kirin Holdings and the companies that you own.