Opinion Calling for the Japanese Government to Formulate a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights
September 15, 2016
Japan Federation of Bar Associations
The Japanese Federation of Bar Associations (the “JFBA”) prepared its “Opinion Calling for the Japanese Government to Formulate a National Plan on Business and Human Rights” on September 15, 2016, and submitted it to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Minister of Health Labor and Welfare, and the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency on September 16, 2016.
Summary of the Opinion
In order to engage in issues regarding business and human rights in Japan and abroad, the JFBA makes the following requests to the Japanese government:
The United Nations Human Rights Council (the “UNHRC”) has passed a resolution to adopt the United Nations Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights. In order to bring this resolution into specific action, the JFBA calls upon the Japanese government to immediately formulate a National Action Plan;
The National Action Plan should follow the Guidance on National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights issued by the UN working group on business and human rights (the “UN Guidance”), and should: (i) include a promise to implement the Guiding Principles of the UN; (ii) lay down the background and targets for formulating the National Action Plan; (iii) express expectations toward corporations; (iv) include priority issues and a format for implementation; and (v) set forth performance monitoring and an updating system. Furthermore, the formulation should consider requirements and principles recommended by the UN Guidance, including perspectives on non-discrimination, ensuring equality and human rights for children and all genders; and
- The National Action Plan formulation process should follow the UN Guidance and include the following 5 stages: (i) formulation of the plan; (ii) evaluation of the negative impacts on human rights related to business; (iii) launching of the first National Action Plan; (iv) implementation of the National Action Plan; and (v) re-evaluation and updating. Transparency should be ensured and sufficient discussions should be held with stakeholders at all stages.