The Sunday editions of all national dailies wrote that the trade ministers of the G7 nations agreed on Friday to work together to eliminate forced labor from global supply chains and shared concern over state-sponsored forced labor of vulnerable groups and minorities. The papers wrote that although the trade ministers did not mention China by name, they had China’s treatment of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in mind. The ministers said in a joint statement issued after their virtual meeting hosted by the UK that about 25 million people worldwide are subject to forced labor and there is no place for forced labor in the rules-based multilateral trading system. This was the first time for the G7 nations to issue a joint statement on forced labor.
Yomiuri wrote that Japan will need to develop new rules for the private sector because it is lagging behind moves by the United States and some European countries to obligate private companies to take measures against forced labor. Japan’s Trade Minister Hagiuda told reporters after the meeting that a new team will be set up within his ministry to address the issue.