On July 26, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held the first meeting of an expert panel on “Business and Human Rights” online in response to the growing international awareness of human rights. In light of the growing criticism in the West of human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the attendees discussed [human rights ] issues that should be addressed by the government and businesses.
The expert panel was established based on the “National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights” formulated by the government in October 2020. Senior officials from the Japanese Business Federation, Japanese Trade Union Confederation, Japan Federation of Bar Associations, and NPO corporations attended the meeting. Deputy Director-General Akahori Takeshi of the Foreign Policy Bureau, who chaired the meeting, said, “Japanese companies now need to prepare for risks [involving human rights issues] in their business dealings.”