On January 6, 2023, the International Labor Organization (ILO) Office in Japan and JICA signed a memorandum of cooperation to promote business and human rights that prevent human rights violations caused by corporate activities. This memorandum presents the objective of more effectively promoting endeavors for business and human rights while leveraging the expertise and knowledge of both parties. Specifically, the intent was to strengthen the collaboration by mutually providing experts for training and seminars, and jointly reaching out to domestic and international stakeholders.
In light of the above development, the JP-MIRAI secretariat members visited Mr. Shinichi Takasaki, director of the ILO Office in Japan, to share JP-MIRAI’s activities in 2023 and discuss desirable measures and their challenges. One of the topics was the JP-MIRAI certification that is currently under consideration. Ensuring compliance with laws and regulations is an obligation, but there is also the question as to whether the certification criteria would provide additional values such that migrant workers will want to work for companies that have acquired the certification. On the other hand, Mr. Takasaki noted that from the perspective of companies, it is essential that the certification criteria structure empowers them to meet the international standards. As for the grievance mechanism, he also suggested that the key to increase the number of adoption lies in ensuring anonymity and objectivity/transparency in the process, and establishing a system that assures accessible consultations. JP-MIRAI will collaborate with ILO to achieve criteria for labor and international human rights, and expand initiatives that are applauded not only within Japan, but in the international community as well.