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17 May 2023

The Sankei Shimbun

Japan: Nonpartisan parliamentary group recommend Govt. to introduce mHRDD by the end of 2023

"「人権DD法」の年内制定を 超党派議連が首相補佐官に提言" 17 May 2023

[ Japanese-to-English translation: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre ]

On 17 May, the Non-partisan Parliamentary Association for Reconsidering Human Rights Diplomacy, a group of lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties, submitted a proposal to Gen Nakatani, a special advisor to the Prime Minister, calling for the introduction of mandatory human rights due diligence (DD). It requires companies to identify and address human rights violations, including forced labour, at their business partners. The Association urged the government to introduce the Japanese version of mHRDD by the end of 2023, which is during Japan's chairmanship of G7.

The government developed guidelines on HRDD in September last year, but there are no penalties, and it is left to companies to take their own voluntary measures. The recommendations pointed out that "without legal binding force, there is a high risk of serious human rights violations (in the supply chain)" and stressed that "legislation cannot be avoided in order to eliminate human rights violations associated with international economic activities".

[...] The recommendations also included that "legislation is required to ensure that Japan does not become a loophole for human rights abuses".