Economic Diplomacy

September 20, 2022

1. Outline of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

  • (1) In 1976, the OECD formulated the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises to set out recommendations and expectations regarding the activities of multinational enterprises from the Guidelines adhering countries. The Guidelines have been revised five times—in 1979, 1984, 1991, 2000, and 2011—in line with the development of the world economy and changes in corporate behavior. At present, in addition to OECD member states, Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Peru, Romania, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Uruguay adhere to the Guidelines.
  • (2) The Guidelines are not legally binding but provide principles and standards for responsible business conduct across a range of fields, including general policies and policies on disclosure, human rights, employment and industrial relations, environment, combating bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion, consumer interests, science and technology, competition, and taxation.
  • (3) The Guidelines’ last revision was made in 2011 to include a chapter on human rights and provide for enterprises’ responsibility to respect human rights and also to add other provisions including that on the implementation of risk-based due diligence for enterprises to perform as part of their risk management to identify, prevent, and mitigate the actual and potential adverse impacts that they may cause or contribute to causing. (Please refer to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises 2011 Edition (PDF)Open a New Window.)

2. National Contact Points (NCPs)

  • (1) The 2000 Edition provides for the establishment in each country of national contact points (NCPs), which are intended to promote the widespread use of the Guidelines, respond to inquiries about the Guidelines, and support the resolution of specific instances. The Japanese NCP is composed of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The 2011 Edition has enhanced the function of the NCP to support the resolution of specific instances. The NCPs of the countries meet at the OECD annually and report their activities to the OECD Investment Committee.
    [Contact information]: OECD Division, Economic Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    (Address) 2-2-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8919, Japan
    (Tel.) +81-(0)3-5501-8348
    (Email) jpn-ncp★
    (Note) Please replace “★” with “@” to send an email to the address. (This is to prevent spam emails.)
  • (2) If you want to file a specific instance with the Japanese NCP, please fill out this form (Japanese (Word)Word / English (Word)Word), and email it as an attachment to the Japanese NCP as shown above.
  • (3) The Implementation Procedures of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises contains the Procedural Guidance as an attachment, that details the structure of the NCPs, considerations to be made for its NCP activities, and the workings of the OECD Investment Committee.
  • (4) Please refer to the NCP short video (YouTube)Open a New Window made by OECD in June 2021.

3. NCP’s response to a complaint submitted in line with the Procedural Guidance

  • (1) Upon receipt of a complaint document, the Japanese NCP will send a letter of receipt to the complainant in line with the Procedural Guidance for the Japanese National Contact Point (NCP). (For details, please refer to the PDF document (PDF)Open a New Window)
  • (2) The Japanese NCP will make an initial assessment regarding whether the complaint “merits further examination.” and subsequently notify the parties involved of the assessment result.
  • (3) When the Japanese NCP decides that the complaint merits further examination, the NCP will assist the parties involved in seeking solution by suggesting mediation. In a case where the NCP decides that the complaint does not merit further examination, the NCP will issue such statement.
  • (4) When the parties involved reach an agreement about the complaint, the NCP will issue a report. When no agreement is reached or a party is unwilling to participate in the NCP procedures, the NCP will issue a statement.

4. NCP Committee of Japan

In July 2008, the NCP Committee of Japan was established by the Japanese NCP, Keidanren (Japanese Business Federation) on behalf of industry, and Rengo (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) on behalf of workers. The Committee meets on a regular basis. (For details, please refer to the PDF document (PDF)Open a New Window.)

6. Specific instances handled by the Japanese NCP in the past (for which the procedures have been closed)

7. Reference: Structure and outline of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (2011 Edition)

Preface Explanations about the basic nature of and background to the Guidelines
I. Concepts and Principles The Guidelines provide multinational enterprises with principles and standards of good practice. Observance of the Guidelines by enterprises is voluntary and not legally enforceable. Governments adhering to the Guidelines implement them and encourage their use and establish National Contact Points (NCPs) to promote the Guidelines.
II. General Policies Enterprises should conduct activities in such a way as to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development and promote respect for human rights, capacity building, human capital formation, maintenance of good corporate governance, and the like. The Guidelines introduce risk-based due diligence as a major tool for enterprises to identify, prevent, and mitigate the adverse impacts caused by their activities including those conducted across their supply chains.
III. Disclosure Enterprises should ensure that timely and accurate information is disclosed regarding their activities, structure, financial situation, performance, and others. This chapter lists the material information that enterprises should disclose and the additional information that enterprises are encouraged to disclose.
IV. Human Rights (Chapter newly established in 2011) Enterprises should respect human rights and carry out human rights due diligence appropriately in their own and their business partners’ activities and others.
V. Employment and Industrial Relations Enterprises should respect the rights of workers, provide them with necessary information, promote cooperation between employers and workers, provide the best possible work conditions when operating in developing countries, provide training, and provide reasonable notice of collective layoffs.
VI. Environment Enterprises should take due account of the need to protect the environment, public health, and safety toward the goal of achieving sustainable development.
VII. Combating Bribery, Bribe Solicitation and Extortion Enterprises should not offer, promise, give, or demand a bribe or other undue advantage. In line with the 2011 Edition, enterprises should also resist the solicitation of bribes and extortion. The Edition also refers to the use of small facilitation payments.
VIII. Consumer Interests Enterprises should act in accordance with fair business, marketing, and advertising practices and should take all reasonable steps to ensure the quality and reliability of the goods and services that they provide. They should respect consumer privacy, prevent deceptive marketing practices, and take into consideration the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers and the specific challenges that may be posed by e-commerce.
IX. Science and Technology Enterprises should contribute to the development of innovative capacity of host countries and to the transfer of technologies and know-how to the countries.
X. Competition Enterprises should carry out their activities in a manner consistent with all applicable competition laws and regulations.
XI. Taxation Enterprises should contribute to the public finances of host countries by making timely payment of their tax liabilities.

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