Human Rights Now Releases Statement on Japanese Companies’ Complicity in Forced Labour in Xinjiang UAR
7 Dec 2020
...Human Rights Now (HRN), a Tokyo-based international human rights NGO, expresses grave concerns about serious human rights violations against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims inside and outside China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (UAR) associated with their incarceration. We call for the involvement of Japanese companies in addressing the Uyghur forced labour problem and urge companies, investors, and the Japanese government to take immediate actions.
Currently, more than 250 companies and organizations, including HRN, have called for action to end and prevent involvement in the forced labour of Uyghurs, but the responses of Japanese companies concerning this situation are not commensurate with the seriousness of the human rights violations.
In this report, we propose measures that Japanese companies, investors, and the Japanese government should implement based on references to Japanese companies in the report, “Uyghurs for sale: ‘Re-education’, forced labour and surveillance beyond Xinjiang” by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). In this vein, a survey was conducted by the Japan Uyghur Association at the end of April 2020 [...] It asked the companies to respond to the following questions (excerpts from the questionnaire are as follows). 
1. What is your opinion on the possibility that your products are manufactured by the forced labour of Uyghurs as shown in ASPI’s reports? [...] from a business ethics and humanitarian perspective, to ask the Chinese government or your supplier to confirm the reports?
2. Do you implement mandatory human rights due diligence in your supplier selection?
3.If some of your products are manufactured by the forced labour of Uyghurs, is it possible to suspend the manufacture and procurement of those products in China for the sake of compliance with international and domestic laws, business ethics, and humanitarian reasons?
4. With regard to the suspicion that your company is unintentionally involved in the forced labour of Uyghurs, please tell us whether you are willing to investigate the actual situation and take measures to eliminate the suspicion.
The following is a summary of the responses from Japanese companies...
[Includes responses and non-responses from the following companies: Fast Retailing Co., Ltd.; TDK Corporation; Mitsubishi Electric Corporation; Sony Corporation; Hitachi, Ltd. Japan Display Inc.; Mitsumi Electric Co., Ltd.; Nintendo Co., Ltd.; Sharp Corporation; Toshiba Corporation; and Panasonic Corporation]