Respect for Human Rights

Based on the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Yamaha Group strives to comply with the international norms on human rights, including the International Bill of Human Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenants on Human Rights), the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the UN Global Compact. In addition to establishing in its Compliance Code of Conduct, the principles of respect for fundamental human rights, prohibition of discrimination, and prohibition of forced and child labor, in the Yamaha Group Sustainability Policy, it clearly states the Group’s resolve to respect human rights, with the goal of helping build a society that safeguards the dignity of all. In January 2018, the Company created the Yamaha Group Human Rights Policy, which displays our thoughts and responsibilities regarding the respect for human rights. This policy is shaping our business activities as well as our efforts to educate and promote awareness of human rights.

The Yamaha Group is committed to responsibly addressing the potential impacts of its business activities on human rights. To this end, we assess our activities across the value chain based on international norms on human rights and on the self-assessment items of the UN Global Compact and actively engage in dialogue with stakeholders and experts. Through this process, we identify and specify the human rights risks apparent in our business. In fiscal 2020, the Yamaha Group worked to identify the material human rights issues faced in different industries through participation in the Stakeholder Engagement Program of Caux Round Table Japan. Our involvement in this project helped us identify themes related to human rights issues pertaining to raw material procurement (illegal logging), workers in the Group and across the supply chain, customers (product and service safety, protection of personal information), and the residents of communities in which the Group has business sites. Inspections of our operations in fiscal 2020 focused on these themes and enabled us to supplement the Group’s rules and regulations by including items deemed necessary from a human rights perspective. In the future, the Group will continue to monitor the status of compliance with its rules and regulations as part of its efforts to implement comprehensive human rights assessments.

Consultation and Whistleblowing Venues

The Yamaha Group solicits opinions and issues reports by telephone and through the online inquiry form available on its website. In addition, the Group has set up compliance-related consultation and whistleblowing venues for use by employees (including contract employees, part-time employees, dispatch employees, and subcontractors) inside and outside of the organization. Employees are able to receive consultation or make reports regarding harassment and other human rights issues through these venues. In fiscal 2020, a dedicated hotline was established for consultations regarding sexual minorities (members of the LGBT community) through which we have been addressing consultations with the aim of resolving or alleviating the concerns faced by members of such groups.
To ensure that reports can be received from various countries and regions, we have developed multi-language email forms. We also provide information on consultation venues in compliance with standards booklets and other internal publications to entrench awareness of these reporting options. A further step forward was taken in March 2020 with the expansion of external consultation and whistleblowing venues in Japan. Cards detailing how to use these venues were distributed to employees to reaffirm their understanding regarding these venues.
Consultations and reports are investigated swiftly and fairly, while protecting the privacy of the reporter as well as of the alleged offender, and instructions are issued and other corrective measures are taken should problematic behavior be identified. Even in cases in which strong requests for confidentiality from the reporter or the offender restrict investigations, the Group will take whatever steps possible to improve its workplace environment as it seeks to rectify the issue and implements measures to prevent reoccurrence.

Fair and Impartial Hiring

In hiring and employment practices, the Yamaha Group practices fair selection and ensures the absence of any form of discrimination based on its diversity and inclusion policies in order to provide employment opportunities to a diverse group of people. In addition, Yamaha decisions regarding employee evaluations and compensation are made in accordance with fair rules using criteria such as the ability to perform tasks, job responsibilities, and achievements. We also carry out training for managers involved with evaluations in order to ensure their ability to make accurate assessments.

Respect for Worker Rights

The Yamaha Group observes international treaties and regulations and practices respect for the rights of workers, including the rights to freedom of association, freedom of enrollment or nonenrollment in labor unions, collective bargaining, and peaceful assembly. Opportunities are provided for workers to engage in frank discussions with management without fear of discrimination, reprisal, coercion, or harassment, and labor and other agreements are respected.

Appropriate Wages and Working Hours

The Yamaha Group has established regulations stating that wages are to be set that do not fall below the minimum wage or the standard living wage of the respective region. In addition, the Group complies with legal standards when determining working hours and days, and steps are taken to reduce overall working hours in order to prevent long or excessive working hours.

Prevention of Harassment

The Yamaha Group has defined in its Compliance Code of Conduct its strict prohibition of harassment, an act that undermines people’s human rights. This prohibition of harassment is detailed in the Compliance Code of Conduct booklets distributed to all Group employees. Also, Yamaha Corporation makes it clear that harassment is a form of misconduct warranting discipline and disclosure of the names of offenders, taking a stern stance toward all violations of human rights. The Group has also established compliance-related consultation and whistleblowing venues and institutes training sessions, seminars, and other education programs with the goal of fostering a workplace environment free of harassment. We are bolstering our consultation and whistleblowing venues and have created dedicated compliance promotion organizations to help prevent power harassment, which entails abuse of a dominant workplace position, and all other forms of harassment. Furthermore, we conduct training aimed at officers and managers as well as training for improving communication between supervisors and their subordinates.

In the interest of furthering its policy concerning human rights throughout its supply chain, Yamaha is making the following efforts:

  • Establish CSR measures, including human rights, in the selection requirements for suppliers
  • Request that suppliers comply with the Yamaha Supplier CSR Code of Conduct, which defines practices related to human rights and labor (specified in the Transaction Agreement), and that suppliers carry out self-assessment based on the Code of Conduct (correction is requested as needed) as part of human rights due diligence

Please see the Promotion of Social Responsibility in the Value Chain section for details on these efforts.

The Yamaha Group Compliance Code of Conduct prohibits any form of forced labor or labor by children under the minimum age permissible by law. In addition, the Guidelines for Labor and Human Rights established based on internal regulations define the following measures for preventing forced labor and child labor.

  • Confirmation of work credentials of foreign nationals
  • Investigation of whether fees are being imposed on workers that create the risk of forced labor
  • Prohibition of requests that employees submit passports and other identification documents and restrictions on usage
  • Prohibition of inappropriate restriction of access to restrooms and right to free movement during breaks or after work
  • Respect for employees’ right to resign freely given that they submit prior notification
  • Management copies of valid IDs and other documents that allow for confirmation of employee ages
  • Prevention of workers under 18 from being assigned duties that would adversely impact their health or safety

In addition, the Yamaha Supplier CSR Code of Conduct defines our prohibition of forced labor and child labor and requests that our business partners adhere to these requirements. We also ask business partners to perform self-assessments using questionnaires and, based on the results, ask for improvement measures when necessary.

The Yamaha Group encourages all employees to view human rights as an issue that directly relates to them, and human rights education programs are implemented to help us exercise our corporate responsibility to respect human rights. In fiscal 2020, we published the Yamaha Human Rights Guidebook (in Japanese and English). Meetings were held during the international Human Rights Day and Japan’s Human Rights Week at domestic Group companies. Readings of the book took place during these meetings, and attendees were given the opportunity to think about the human rights violations that might occur in the course of their work and how to prevent them. Feedback on these meetings was received from more than 400 worksites.

[ image ] Yamaha Human Rights Guidebook (Excerpt)
Yamaha Human Rights Guidebook (Excerpt)

The Guidelines for Labor and Human Rights established based on internal regulations state that the Yamaha Group is to conduct human rights education programs and specifies the content of these programs. Domestic and overseas Group companies are encouraged to spearhead their own human rights education programs.
Furthermore, the following training and education programs are to be conducted on an ongoing basis in order to heighten human rights awareness.

  • Provision of human rights-related information pertaining to the Group via intranet (UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, conflict mineral issues, etc.)
  • Training sessions and workshops on workplace human rights-related themes (CSR procurement seminars for purchasing representatives, LGBT sensitivity and diversity, and inclusion workshops for human resources and marketing representatives)
  • Seminars for officers and all other Group members (power harassment prevention seminars, diversity and inclusion seminars)