kirin brewery

Kirin Brewery Breaks Ties With Myanmar Brewery After Military Coup

Major Japanese brewer Kirin announced to quit its partnership with Myanmar’s brewer linked to the country’s military.

Kirin has a joint venture with Myanmar Economic Holdings, overseen by senior commander-in-chief General Min Aung Hlaing. Last Monday he led a military coup which seized control of the government.

On Friday Kirin announced in a statement that they were “very concerned about the recent actions of the military in Myanmar”.

Kirin is one of the world’s largest brewers, and they hold brands such as Kirin and Tooheys. They also have a major stake in San Miguel and several craft breweries in the UK and the US.

The Japanese beverage conglomerate also holds just over half of Myanmar Brewery and Mandalay Brewery. In partnership with Myanmar Economic Holdings.


In a statement sent to the BBC, Kirin said:

We decided to invest in Myanmar in 2015, believing that, through our business, we could make a positive contribution to the people and economy of the country as it enters an important period of democratization.

Given the current circumstances, we have no choice but to terminate our current partnership with Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Company Limited…. We will take steps as a matter of urgency to give effect to this termination.

A United Nations (UN) investigation uncovered MEH’s links to its military and Min Aung Hlaing. MEH has a significant portfolio in many sectors. Banking, tourism, real estate, transportation, gems and metals.

In 2018, a UN mission investigating atrocities against the Rohingya people in Myanmar said that doing business with MEH posed “a high risk of contributing” to human rights violations.


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