Shosha's Corporate Code of Conduct

1st version established: May 10, 1973
2nd version revised: July 8, 1999
3rd version revised: June 16, 2005

Japan  Foreign Trade Council, Inc.
  The ongoing globalization of business activities, developments in information technology, and the spread of market-based economies are bringing great changes to the social and economic environment in which corporations currently operate. At the same time the supply of energy, environmental problems, population growth and food shortages are also becoming issues of global concern. Within this context, growing public expectations regarding the role of business have led to increasing demands for socially responsible corporate behavior.

  As Shosha, we must constantly keep pace with these changes and manage our organizations in light of these expectations. In addition to working to realize socially responsible business built upon a foundation of legal compliance and disclosure, we must also strive to understand and meet evolving social and economic demands by fully applying our unique capabilities as Shosha in order to contribute to the achievement of sustainable economic growth.

  We have produced this code of conduct in order to encourage JFTC member firms to live up to their social responsibilities, evaluate their own behavior as responsible corporations, and assist them in pursuing their own initiatives.
 Section 1: Management Philosophy
  As Shosha, we must constantly be aware of our role and responsibilities in society, go beyond the exclusive pursuit of short-term gain, and manage our business activities from a long-term perspective by balancing social, economic and environmental considerations so as to contribute to the realization of sustainable economic growth through business.

1.   We must effectively use our business resources for the benefit of our shareholders, business partners, consumers, employees, local communities and all our other various stakeholders.
2.   Executive management must lead by example in their efforts to create responsible businesses as defined by the evolving demands of the day.
3.   By conducting our businesses with due consideration to the preservation of the global environment and the balanced development of the international community, we must actively engage in the resolution of issues of environmental problems, poverty and violations of human rights.
 Section 2: Functions and Areas of Activity
  As Shosha, we must strive to remain constantly aware of the evolving social, economic and environmental demands on our businesses, and respond to these demands in a comprehensive manner.

1.   By collecting and disseminating information on a global scale and meeting the diversifying needs of our clients and markets, we must strive to provide resources, goods, and services that enrich society. In the provision of these resources, goods and services, we must give due consideration to the importance of personal information and intellectual property, and must make every effort to manage these resources in a responsible manner.
2.   By discovering new opportunities for business throughout the world, and by developing these opportunities into sources of social wealth, we must strive to advance industry and contribute to the creation of employment both domestically and internationally.
3.   By maintaining a spirit of cooperation and harmony, we must promote free trade and constructive collaboration between nations in order to contribute to the achievement of balanced regional economic development and global prosperity.
 Section 3: Legal Compliance and Disclosure
  As Shosha, in recognition of our responsibilities to society, we must conduct our business in accordance with all relevant laws and regulations, show due respect for social conventions, and stress information disclosure in our efforts to maintain transparent management practices.

1.   In addition to legal compliance in our respective regional areas of operation, we must abide by both the letter and the spirit of international rules and regulations, and conduct ourselves in a socially conscientious manner. Furthermore, we must manage our business activities upon the understanding that free and fair competition is the fundamental precondition for the functioning of a market economy, and must maintain open and fair relations with political parties and governments.
2.   We must strive to achieve transparency through the appropriate and timely disclosure of corporate information. To further promote communication with our shareholders and other stakeholders, we must strive to expand the venues and means for information disclosure and thereby promote opportunities for the honest and constructive exchange of opinions.
3.   We must build systems to promote effective corporate decision-making, strengthen audit functions, and constantly monitor the legality of decisions made within our organizations.
 Section 4: Social Contribution and the Promotion of Trust
  As Shosha, we must strive to create relationships of mutual trust both domestically and internationally, and to contribute actively to society as good corporate citizens.

1.   We must show respect for the cultures, customs and languages of other countries and regions, and strive to actively participate in activities aimed at regional development through a process of private-sector diplomacy.
2.   By promoting communication with a wide range of stakeholders including shareholders, business partners, consumers, employees, and local communities, we must strive to create mutual trust in our relationships with our stakeholders by promoting regional development and cooperating in activities aimed at the achievement of a secure and enriched standard of living.
3.   We will not deal with any organizations influenced by or comprised of organized crime that may operate in the communities in which we do business.
 Section 5: Creation of Rewarding Work Environments
  As Shosha, we will strive to provide our employees with a rich and rewarding work environment, to respect the diversity, character and individuality of our employees, and to promote corporate cultures in which each individual's talents and creativity may be fully developed.

1.   We must create and maintain safe and fulfilling work environments for our employees.
2.   We must respect the human rights of our employees, promote equal opportunities among them, and oppose any discriminatory employment practices or treatment.
3.   We must respect the diversity and individuality of our employees and actively support their skill and career development.
 Section 6: Communication and Implementation
  Executive management of the respective Shosha must take full responsibility to make every effort to implement this code of conduct within their respective organizations, and to communicate the obligations set out within this code and their commitment to its implementation to their affiliates and trading partners.
 Section 7: Violation and Prevention of Recurrence
  In the event of a violation of this code of conduct, executive management of the respective Shosha is expected to publicly announce a plan for resolving the situation, to make a full investigation and account of the causes of the violation, and to make every effort possible to prevent a recurrence of the violation.
The original Japanese language version of this document is the official version used by the JFTC and its members. This document is an English language translation of the Japanese language original and has been prepared as a public service.