Promoting Responsible Supply Chains in Japan



About the project


The OECD has worked with key Asian partners for a number of years to promote responsible investment and RBC. Under this programme, implemented together with the International Labour Organisation and the European Union, the OECD contributed its extensive expertise on trade and investment and on risk-based RBC due diligence to support in-country policy developments and action to create an enabling environment for Responsible Business Conduct (RBC), to boost industry capacity and to raise awareness of the importance of RBC.


The programme took place over 4 years (2018-2022) in partnership with Japan and five other partner economies, namely China, Thailand, Viet Nam, the Philippines, and Myanmar.


Responsible supply chains in Japan

The Japan activities under the Programme involved close co-operation with the National Contact Point for Responsible Business Conduct to support continued Japanese leadership in the region on promoting responsible supply chains and implementing OECD RBC standards. The OECD worked with Japanese businesses - in particular in the electronics and vehicle parts sectors – to support RBC due diligence and explore innovative and concrete ways to address environmental, social and human rights issues related to the global supply chains in these sectors.


Programme activities in Japan will focused on:

  • raising awareness and building capacity on international corporate responsibility standards and practices;
  • conducting research and disseminating good practice with the government, businesses, trade unions and NGOs;  
  • fostering multi-stakeholder partnerships; and
  • coordinating with existing policy initiatives and activities to maximise effectiveness.

The Programme was implemented in partnership with governments as well as businesses operating in or having suppliers in Japan and Europe. The ultimate beneficiaries included people working in global supply chains, consumers benefiting from products made in a responsible manner, citizens benefiting from environmental protection and respect for human rights, and companies benefiting from increased productivity, new competitive advantage, and sustainable growth.


Find out more about country-specific programme objectives  ENG | JPN 


Case Studies on Environmental Due Diligence: Examples From Japanese Businesses

The six case studies enclosed in this series provide examples of corporate efforts to conduct environmental due diligence, drawing on the experience of Japanese companies. They aim to support business in the practical implementation of environmental due diligence across supply chains.

 Access the case studies: ENG | JPN

Awareness-raising & capacity building


High-Level virtual event: The role of Responsible Business Conduct in building resilience - Perspectives from Japan 21 January, 2021

To promote policy coherence on RBC, trade and COVID-19 recovery, the OECD, ILO, and the EU co-organised a High-Level Event on the role of Responsible Business Conduct in building resilience, focusing on perspectives from Japan. The event bought together Japanese government officials as well as representatives of the EU, business, worker organisations, civil society and key experts. Discussion centred on synergies between the role of RBC in building resilience in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, international labour rights and efforts to implement the sustainable development provisions of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.


Japan-EU-OECD Seminar on supporting international collaboration on Responsible Business Conduct 13 June, 2019

The session (a side event at the Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum) raised awareness and fostered collaboration on RBC/CSR practices by businesses operating out of the EU and Japan. 

Key questions discussed included:

  • What are some of the most pressing supply chain risks your business or businesses in your region (or sector) are currently facing?
  • What do you see as the shared supply chain risks across European and Japanese businesses, either within a specific sector or more broadly?
  • How are businesses across the two regions currently collaborating to address some of these risks and implement internationally recognized standards on Responsible Business Conduct and supply chain due diligence?
  • How can platforms for collaboration be built or enhanced across the two regions?

Access the Forum schedule 

 | Read the summary report



The OECD e-learning Academy on Responsible Business Conduct provides learners with a unique opportunity to advance their knowledge of responsible business conduct and OECD risk-based due diligence.

Self-paced, free online courses (currently avilable in English) include:

  • The Essentials of OECD Due Diligence for Responsible Business Conduct
  • OECD Due Diligence for Agriculture and Seafood Supply Chains
  • OECD Due Diligence for Garment and Footwear Supply Chains
  • OECD Due Diligence for Electronics and Vehicle Parts Supply Chains

Media coverage

Press release by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment: Launch of the introductory guide on environmental due diligence along the value chains published August 2020

This guide was developed by the Ministry of the Environment to support companies in the implementation of environmental due diligence, with input from the OECD. The guide refers to the OECD Guidelines for MNEs and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct.

Read the press release in Japanese




Senken Shimbun, "Increasing expectations on Responsible Business Conduct in the garment and footwear sector" July 2020

This article highlights the outcome of the Roundtable on Advancing international collaboration on RBC for sustainable supply chains in Asia held in Tokyo in November 2019 by the OECD and the ILO, under the Responsible Supply Chains in Asia programme. It presents the OECD tools on RBC and due diligence as relevant to the garment and footwear sector in particular. It also draws attention to the OECD policy note on COVID-19 and RBC as well as the Global Forum on RBC partner side session on Building environmental resilience and responding to global crises through supply chain due diligence, which was held in June 2020, where the Japanese Ministry of the Environment participated as a speaker (Watch recordings in ENG and JPN).

Read the article in Japanese



Nikkei ESG magazine, “Integrating human rights in corporate management” November 2019

This article celebrates the launch of the Japanese translation of the Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct.

Read the article in Japanese



International Development Journal, “Opinion: Promoting responsible business conduct in Asia” February 2019

Mr Junpei Sunahara, Advisor at the Permanent Delegation of Japan to the OECD, published an article in the Journal of International Development regarding Responsible Business Conduct and OECD’s outreach activities in Asia. The article explains the growing interest in RBC both in Japan and China and highlights the role of the OECD RBC Unit in raising awareness on RBC issues. The article emphasizes the importance of Japanese leadership in disseminating best practices to other Asian countries and facilitating the implementation of RBC in the region through international co-operation.

Read the article in Japanese



Nihon Keizai Shimbun, “Japanese manufacturing sector putting a focus on human rights and theenvironment” May 2019

This article highlights the OECD's Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct and how Japanese companies are responding to changing expectations in supply chain management.

Read the article published in Japanese





 Documents & Links

  • OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises ENG | JPN 
  • OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct 

    Guidance  ENG | JPN 
    Flyer  ENGJPN
  • OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas 

    Guidance  ENG | JPN 
    Flyer  ENG | JPN
  • OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment & Footwear Sector

    ENG | JPN
    ENG | JPN
  • OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains 

    Guidance  ENG | JPN
    Flyer  ENG | JPN
  • Due Diligence for Responsible Corporate Lending and Securities Underwriting ENG | JPN 
  • Responsible Business Conduct for Institutional Investors  ENG |JPN
  • Responsible Business: Key Messages from International Instruments  ENG | JPN
  • Building More Resilient and Sustainable Global Value Chains through Responsible Business Conduct  ENG | JPN
  • Policy Trends in Environmental Due Diligence ENG | JPN
  • OECD Due Diligence Guidance in the Electronics Sector ENG | JPN
  • How the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals ENG | JPN
  • The Essentials: Characteristics of Due Diligence ENG
  • Glossary of Technical terms ENG | JPN


Consult the events page for all published materials linked to Japan outreach and events


Questions or comments? Contact us:



Did you Know?

Among the six RSCA programme conutries, Japan has the highest level of forward linkages in GVCs, with a share of domestic value-added in foreign exports as a share of gross exports of 26% (2018, TiVA 2021) 


 This project is implemented in partnership with the European Union and the ILO


RBC - ILO logo







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