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Japan: Bar Association urges gov't to ensure NAP is based on int. standards


 The Bar Association has published a set of recommendations for the government in preparing the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP). Japan announced in November 2016 that they would prepare a NAP: however, there has been no subsequent information regarding any progress, or any plans for consultation with civil society and other stakeholders.   

The Bar Association recommends that the government include measures on the following priority areas  (English translation of summary, produced by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre):

 1. Concrete measures aimed at strengthening the understanding of the government and companies on the following:

(1) Main standards of international human rights and labour rights (ILO standards); (2) Any possible negative impacts of business operations on human rights, the environment, corruption etc. in developing countries and throughout the supply chain; (3) Any possible negative impacts of business operations on human rights, the environment, corruption etc. in Japan. 

2. Heightened incorporation of human rights standards in business operations related to the government, including the following:

(1) Public procurement; (2) Development finance; (3) Treaties and other agreements regarding finance or trade.

3. Measures on business and human rights, including the following, regarding companies that are subject to Japanese laws and regulations:

(1) Official guidelines on human rights due diligence and grievance mechanisms for companies; (2) Obligations for companies over a certain size to disclose non-financial information regarding management of human rights risks in the supply chain; (3) Strengthening of ‘whistle blower’ protection, including expansion of categories of cases covered by such protection; (4) Official assistance to small and medium size enterprises for strengthening human rights, such as training, consultation services, and the referral of expert assistance.  

4. Strengthening of access to judicial and non-judicial remedies for victims of human rights violations caused by business operations, especially victims living outside of Japan.  



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