NAP Development Process
At the 5th UN Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights held in 2016, Ambassador Mitsuko Shino of the Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Geneva, officially announced Japan’s intention to develop a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP).
In her statement, Ambassador Shino stated that Japan plans “to formulate our National Action Plan in the coming years, and [has] started preliminary discussion among relevant ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ,and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. In formulating our National Action Plan, we consider it important to listen to the voices of business and civil society. We aim to reflect those opinions in a well-balanced manner to promote responsible business activities”.
This intention was further reiterated in Japan’s SDGs Implementation Guiding Principles, released on 22 December 2016, where the government committed to developing a NAP following the UN Human Rights Council Resolution 17/4 and the recommendations by a working group established by the resolution.
At the initial phase of the NAP formulation process, the Government of Japan has initiated a baseline assessment (with the aim of assessing the extent to which the current legal framework or relevant policies provide safeguards against business-related human rights abuse). It is also worth pointing out that Japan is undertaking the assessment by using the NAP Toolkit of the ICAR and DIHR as a reference.