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Business trends

Japan companies scrutinize human rights in supply chains

Asahi, Toshiba among those responding to international investor pressure

Workers walk by the perimeter fence of what China calls a vocational training center in Dabancheng in China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in September 2018.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese companies are taking a fresh look at their global supply chains to ensure they are not dealing with suppliers with questionable human rights records. They are also scrutinizing the operations of their suppliers for signs of child labor, forced labor or other violations, and replacing partners that fail to meet the ethical standards.

A growing number of Western democracies are enacting legislation requiring companies to monitor their suppliers and subcontractors for compliance with human rights norms. Japanese companies are facing growing pressure from the international community to keep track of and disclose human rights risks in their supply chains.

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