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Time for Japan to lead Asia in cutting off coal power financing

Government and banks must close loopholes and avoid 'greenwashing'

| Japan

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the biggest commercial bank in Japan and the fifth-largest in the world, is reportedly considering a ban on lending to new coal-fired power stations.

If the move is confirmed, it will add weight to a growing -- and very welcome -- policy shift among Asian lenders. Not before time, the region's banks are recognizing the global threat from climate change and pulling back from the world's most carbon-intensive energy source. But there must be no backsliding or loopholes for specific projects under a no-coal approach.

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