Business and Human Rights

Management Approach

Our Basic Stance

As value chains expand on a global scale, ensuring respect for the human rights of employees, suppliers, and all the other people involved in our businesses has become a more important focus that, in turn, increases the necessity of understanding and dealing with the human rights risks in Group-wide business activities.
The Kawasaki Group has enshrined respect for human rights in its business activities in the Kawasaki Group Code of Conduct. In fiscal 2019, we adopted the Kawasaki Group Policy on Human Rights. The Group also supports and respects international rules and norms regarding human rights and labor, including the International Bill of Human Rights, International Labour Organization’s core labor standards, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Additionally, our Group is conducting human rights due diligence aimed at carrying out initiatives to ensure respect for human rights in its business activities

Human Rights Policy

The Kawasaki Group adopted the Kawasaki Group Policy on Human Rights in fiscal 2019 to complement the Kawasaki Group Code of Conduct. We recognize how essential it is for the realization of our Group Mission that the human rights of all stakeholders be fully respected and that the Kawasaki Group’s employees uphold high ethical standards; and we have established policy to be actively engaged in such key areas of human rights as diversity, equal opportunity, forced labor, child labor, discrimination, harassment, employees’ freedom of association and right to collective bargaining, and occupational health and safety.

Scope of Policy Application

The Kawasaki Group


The Kawasaki Group Policy on Human Rights states that the director in charge of sustainability and the Sustainability Department are responsible for human rights-related management and issues. The responsible department analyzes and monitors human rights risks in its business activities, and the Sustainability Committee attended by all directors is responsible for deliberating on human rights-related efforts and receiving reports on these activities.
For details on related structures, please refer to Sustainability Promotion System under Sustainability Framework.

Responsible Officer

Katsuya Yamamoto, Representative Director, Vice President, and Senior Executive Officer (in charge of sustainability)

Responsible Executive Organ and/or Committee

Sustainability Committee

Prohibition of Discrimination

The Kawasaki Group Code of Conduct prohibits discrimination, as follows:

“As stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights are ‘the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.’ In order to respect the human rights of each and every person, we must afford everyone equal dignity and respect, regardless of race, skin color, gender, age, nationality, social origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, religion, political belief, disability, health condition, or any other legally protected characteristics.”

The Kawasaki Group Policy on Human Rights also prohibits discrimination. The entire Kawasaki Group implements initiatives based on its understanding of discrimination as a human rights issue. Concrete anti-discrimination measures include training covering LGBT considerations and awareness-raising activities for employees of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. To provide work environments that are more welcoming to LGBT employees, in fiscal 2020, Kawasaki Heavy Industries modified its human resources system to ensure that employees’ same-sex partners are treated the same as opposite-sex spouses for the purpose of employee benefits.

Prohibition of Child Labor and Forced Labor

The Kawasaki Group clearly states in its Code of Conduct that it will not tolerate child labor or forced labor, which are global human rights and labor issues. In addition, Kawasaki is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, indicating its support of the Compact’s 10 principles in the four areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.
With respect to the global human rights and labor issues of child labor and forced labor, since fiscal 2014, we periodically confirm that no company under the Group umbrella is involved in such practices and declare that none will ever employ such practices. This style of confirmation and declaration, acknowledged and supported by the Global Compact Network Japan (GCNJ) secretariat, is prepared in line with the “Global Compact Labor Principles and Business Guidelines” and signed by the presidents of all Group companies, including those overseas. As the Kawasaki Group, we adopt CSR Procurement Guidelines, which cover respect for human rights, and call on suppliers to work with us as a team to uphold these guidelines.

Employee Education about Business and Human Rights

The Kawasaki Group has conducted e-learning for employees about business and human rights since fiscal 2020. In this training program, in addition to an overview of international norms regarding human rights and labor as well as information on global trends, clarification is also given on the responsibilities required of companies regarding business and human rights and on the Kawasaki Group’s initiatives. The target participants were mainly employees in charge of sustainability or human resources from domestic Group companies, totaling 191 participants in fiscal 2020 and 13,245 in fiscal 2021.

Harassment Prevention

Kawasaki has established the Harassment Prevention Regulations. To create a comfortable, harassment-free working environment, Kawasaki provides grade-specific training to provide proper guidance and increase awareness.
In addition to the Compliance Reporting and Consultation System, which employees can use when they have experienced or witnessed harassment, since fiscal 2014 we have maintained consultation points, operated by the Human Resources Division, that employees, including temporary staff, can use. As necessary, we also hold meetings with employees seeking advice or help through either system and respond fairly to incidents while remaining committed to respecting their privacy.
In addition, from fiscal 2019, we have begun operation of an external consultation point that employees of Kawasaki can access for consultation regarding issues related to harassment and mental health.

Right to Organize and Right to Collective Bargaining

Kawasaki is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, indicating its support of the Compact’s 10 principles in the four areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. Furthermore, the Kawasaki Group Policy on Human Rights states that the Group shall respect employees’ freedom of association and right to collective bargaining.

Labor–Management Discussions

Kawasaki employs a union shop system, meaning that all general employees are members of the labor union.
The right to collective bargaining is recognized in our labor agreement, and two days’ notice must be given before commencing collective bargaining with respect to such matters as corporate cost-cutting actions and significant changes in labor conditions. However, as both parties strive, in principle, to reach amicable resolutions by holding labor-management meetings (on an as-needed basis) in good faith prior to commencing collective bargaining, Kawasaki has seen no labor dispute actions over the past 40 years.
In addition, Kawasaki has concluded a labor agreement with the labor union and actively exchanges views with the union via a range of regular meetings. These include meetings of the Corporate Management Council (at least twice a year Company-wide, and at least twice a year at internal companies) to explain our corporate management policies and state of management; the Safety and Health Council (at least once a year) to explain basic policies on safety and health; the Regional Safety and Health Committee (at least once a month) to deliberate on measures for preventing hazards and health impediments to employees; and the Company-wide Environmental Preservation Committee (once a year) to explain Company measures related to environmental preservation.

Labor Union Data (non-consolidated)


Unit 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Number of union members Persons 12,823 12,949 13,294 13,459 10,087
Labor union makeup* 76.9 79.2 79.2 78.7 76.8
Number of labor discussions with the union Number 26 31 23 44 38

* The number of labor union members and labor union makeup are current as of the end of the respective fiscal years. Labor union makeup percentage represents the percentage of union members versus all permanent employees, including managerial staff.

Human Rights Due Diligence

Human Rights Risk Assessments and Impact Assessments

In fiscal 2018, the Kawasaki Group implemented human rights risk assessments and impact assessments of its main businesses in cooperation with the U.S.-based nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility (BSR).
In implementing these risk assessments and impact assessments, Kawasaki referenced international rules and principles regarding human rights, namely, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the International Bill of Human Rights, and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Scope of Human Rights Risk Assessments and Impact Assessments (businesses, value chains, countries and regions, stakeholder groups)

Businesses covered:
The Kawasaki Group’s main business

Countries and regions covered:
The countries and regions in which the Kawasaki Group does business (Japan, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia)

Stakeholders covered:
Customers, employees, employees in the supply chain, local residents, etc.

Assessment Results (priority human rights risks)

As a result of the risk assessments and impact assessments, we found that the following nine areas in particular present significant human rights risks.

  • Safety and health of employees
  • Safety and health at manufacturing sites
  • Child labor at manufacturing sites
  • Forced labor at manufacturing sites
  • Safety and health in supply chains
  • Wages, benefits, and work hours in supply chains
  • Child labor in supply chains
  • Forced labor in supply chains
  • High-risk customers
Priority Human Rights Risks

Toward the Implementation of Corrective Measures

In light of the above results, the Kawasaki Group will formulate and implement risk reduction measures for key risks within the Group and in the supply chain. Specifically, utilizing SAQ made by Kawasaki which correspond to the five sections stipulated in the RBA Code of Conduct (Labor, Health and Safety, Environment, Ethics, Management Systems), we plan to monitor some of the overseas Group companies located in countries where human rights risks are high in fiscal 2022.

Mechanism for Addressing Human Rights Related Grievances

Mechanisms for Addressing Employee Grievances

Under Kawasaki’s labor agreement, if a problem arises that cannot be resolved within the workplace, Kawasaki sets up a grievance committee, with participation from the director responsible for personnel and the president of the labor union, to quickly, fairly, and peacefully resolve the problem. The grievance committee handles a wide variety of issues, including the health management and safety of union members, incidents of abuse of authority or sexual harassment, and matters related to personnel transfers. Kawasaki promises that no employee will suffer disadvantageous treatment for voicing a grievance.

Consultation system Contents of report or consultation Contact method Cases (fiscal 2021) Contact point/Operating division Scope
Internal consultation point system Workplace harassment, such as sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and maternity-related harassment Email 9 Head Office Human Resources Division / Head Office Human Resources Division Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (non-consolidated)
External consultation point system Harassment and mental health Webpage, phone External institution / Head Office Human Resources Division Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (non-consolidated)
Compliance Reporting and Consultation System Please refer to Whistle-Blowing System and Consultation Points. Outside lawyer / Compliance Department Kawasaki Group (domestic and some overseas locations)

Mechanisms for Addressing Outside Grievances (from suppliers, local communities, etc.)

Although we do not have a dedicated contact point for human-rights related grievances from outside the Group, our website includes general contact forms. Inquiries received through the website are directed to the relevant divisions and handled appropriately.

Engagement with Stakeholders

The Kawasaki Group Policy on Human Rights, established in fiscal 2019, states that the Group will fulfill its responsibilities related to respecting the human rights of the stakeholders impacted by the Group’s business activities.

Identifying Human Rights Risk in Cooperation with the NPO BSR

In fiscal 2018, we worked with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) to identify stakeholders impacted by the Group’s business activities as well as areas of significant human rights risk. Going forward, we will formulate and implement risk reduction measures for key risks within the Group and in supply chains. By implementing a PDCA cycle of initiatives to ensure respect for human rights, we are advancing efforts to address risks to the human rights of our stakeholders.
For details, please refer to Human Rights Due Diligence.

In Response to the NGO SOMO’s Report

In 2017, the Netherlands-based NGO SOMO published a report titled The Myanmar Dilemma, discussing human rights abuses in garment factories in Myanmar, including a factory reported to be a supplier to Kawasaki. In light of this report, we conducted an internal investigation and determined that a primary contractor commissioned by Kawasaki subsidiary Kawasaki Motors Corporation Japan to manufacture apparel products subcontracted the production of some of these products to the factory discussed in SOMO’s report. The manufacture of these products at said factory was temporary, and the products were not being produced there at the time of the internal investigation. The responsible department provided explanations of potential human rights risks in the supply chain to related divisions and requested that they take steps to ensure awareness of and compliance with the Kawasaki Group CSR Procurement Guidelines. We internally share the observations and opinions of NGOs and other stakeholders and strive to respond appropriately when there is an issue.

Addressing Modern Slavery

Response to the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act

Our UK-based subsidiary Kawasaki Precision Machinery (UK) Ltd., the UK Branch Office of Kawasaki Motors Europe N.V., and Kawasaki Subsea (UK) Limited issue statements in accordance with the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act.


Consideration Given to Employees at KMI (Indonesia)

PT. Kawasaki Motor Indonesia (KMI) is a local manufacturing and marketing base for Kawasaki-brand motorcycles in Indonesia.
About 90% of the population of Indonesia is Muslim, and many of KMI’s employees are followers of Islam. Therefore, various considerations are extended to these employees. The company has set aside an area on site for a mushola (prayer room). Female employees are allowed to wear a headscarf during working hours and, in the cafeteria, no dishes made with pork are served since dietary laws prohibit consumption of pork.
During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset, and through this month office hours for employees in administrative and sales and marketing divisions start 30 minutes earlier than usual. This change reflects the desire of many Muslims to have their evening meal with family at home during Ramadan. Also, after Lebaran (a celebration to mark the end of fasting), which follows Ramadan, KMI holds a Halal Bi Halal event for Muslims.
But Islam is not the state religion of Indonesia. In fact, there are Christian and Hindu minorities, and since the constitution guarantees religious freedom, Christmas and Hindu celebrations are also observed as national holidays. KMI therefore extends its consideration to employees of Christian and other faiths and holds such events as Christmas celebrations. This demonstrates KMI efforts to accommodate the local religions, cultures, and customs of the land and execute business activities that respect human rights.

On site prayer room (mushola)
On site prayer room (mushola)
Halal Bi Halal
Halal Bi Halal
Women employees wearing a headscarf
Women employees wearing a headscarf
Female employees wearing headscarves


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