Kirin beer can’t tell if it’s funding the Myanmar military; Critics raise questions

Japanese beer conglomerate Kirin says an investigation by Deloitte was unable to determine if the company has been funding the Myanmar military through its joint ownership of domestic beer companies. Critics say Kirin has been complicit in human rights abuses by partnering with a Myanmar military-owned company.


Japanese beer corporation Kirin has said that an assessment of its ties with the Myanmar military was “inconclusive” as to the company’s role in human rights abuses and military operations.

Kirin has faced major criticisms over its joint ownership of Myanmar alcohol companies with the military-owned Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. (MEHL). Since 2015, Kirin has held 51% ownership of both Mandalay Brewery Ltd and Myanmar Brewery Ltd, with the remainder held by MEHL.

Rights groups say that by partnering with MEHL, Kirin is complicit in the military’s human rights abuses, including the genocide against the Rohingya. As of November 2020, Kirin has suspended payments from its Myanmar ventures to MEHL.

In a statement on January 7, Kirin said that an investigation commissioned by the company and carried out by Deloitte was “unable to access sufficient information” to determine whether profits from its partnerships with MEHL were going to the military.

Further readings: