Human Rights

Basic Policies Regarding Human Rights

The Yamaha Group’s basic policies regarding human rights are described in the Yamaha Group Human Rights Policy and in the Yamaha Compliance Code of Conduct. Based on these policies, all Group companies are required to conduct their business activities with integrity and founded on respect for human rights. In addition, suppliers are expected to adhere to the Yamaha Supplier CSR Code of Conduct, which stipulates requirements for respect for human rights and appropriate labor practices. The Yamaha Group Human Rights Policy was approved by the president and was based on advice from experts, opinions from Group companies, and discussion by the Managing Council of Yamaha Corporation.

Moreover, Yamaha Corporation is a signatory of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact and thus endorses its principles regarding respect for human rights.

System and Initiatives

Yamaha Corporation has established the Working Group for Human Rights, DE&I under the Sustainability Committee to facilitate responsible action for addressing the potential impacts of its business activities on human rights. This working group guides activities for preventing and reducing adverse impacts on human rights from our business activities. Moreover, reports on human rights and other sustainability issues are submitted to the Board of Directors on a regular basis to facilitate oversight of initiatives on this front.

Human Rights Due Diligence

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. Since 2019, the Yamaha Group has 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.

At the same time, the Yamaha Group inspects the implementation status of the related rules, incorporates necessary items into regulations and guidelines from a human rights perspective, and carries out comprehensive human rights assessments performed by monitoring the compliance status with such rules.

In February 2022, we began working with experts to improve the Yamaha Group’s human rights due diligence processes. These improvements included the preparation of a long list of potential human rights issues based on international standards and guidelines.* This list was then used to assess risks with consideration given to the characteristics of the Group’s mainstay musical instrument, audio equipment, and music school businesses as well as the risks associated with the countries and regions in which it does business. We thereby identified 17 material human rights issues from among the risks present. With regard to these material issues, surveys are administered to domestic and overseas Group companies to determine the potential for human rights violations, the possible severity of such violations, and any vulnerabilities in management systems and prevention measures. Moreover, analyses are being carried out to identify human rights issues requiring priority response.

  • Referenced international standards and guidelines include the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Bill of Human Rights, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, the GRI Standards, the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct, the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (key industry risks), Caux Round Table Japan Stakeholder Engagement Program reports, the SASB Materiality Map, and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative Human Rights Guidance Tool.

The Yamaha Group’s 17 Material Human Rights Issues

  Issues Stakeholders
Customers Employees Business Partners Communities and Society
1 Legal equality and prohibition of discrimination  
2 Legal access to remedies
3 Consistent procurement practices (transaction management)    
4 Harassment and abuse    
5 Women’s rights    
6 Child labor (respect for right to education)      
7 Forced labor      
8 Occupational health and safety    
9 Working hours (right to breaks and days off)    
10 Safe work environment (including access to water)    
11 Wages (right to a living wage)    
12 Freedom of association and right to collective bargaining    
13 Equal access to training and education    
14 Intellectual property rights  
15 Rights of indigenous people and local communities      
16 Consumer interests (right to safety and access to information)      
17 Management of personal information of consumers      

Consultation and Whistleblowing Systems

The Yamaha Group has set up compliance-related consultation and whistleblowing systems for use by employees (including contract employees, part-time employees, and dispatch employees) inside and outside of the organization. Employees are able to receive consultation or make reports regarding harassment and other human rights issues through these systems. In addition, we have developed multilanguage email forms, and a dedicated consultation system for sexual minorities has been established within the personnel department in Japan. Information on the respective consultation venues for these systems is provided on an ongoing basis through internal publications, notifications, and the Company intranet in order to entrench awareness of these reporting options.

Consultation and whistleblowing protocols have been established in accordance with internal regulations to protect those who report so that the Yamaha Group can defend whistleblowers’ interests. Consultations and reports are investigated swiftly and fairly, while protecting the privacy of those who report 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 those who report or the alleged offender restrict investigations, the Group will take whatever steps possible to improve its workplace environment as it seeks to rectify the issue and implement measures to prevent reoccurrence.

Furthermore, overseas Group companies are instructed to establish external reporting venues and promote understanding among employees while also preparing response manuals and providing training on how reporting venues should accommodate consultations. These measures are being taken to enhance the consultation and whistleblowing systems of overseas Group companies.

Non-employee stakeholders are able to submit opinions and reports through the consultation venues available on Company websites. In addition, Yamaha joined the Japan Center for Engagement and Remedy on Business and Human Rights (JaCER) in October 2022 and has begun accepting claims filed through its Engagement and Remedy Platform. This platform is compliant with the stipulations of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and will be used to address the wide range of human rights issues found across various value chains.

Respect for Employees’ Human Rights

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 the Yamaha Group DE&I Policy in order to provide employment opportunities to a diverse group of people. In addition, Yamaha’s 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 non-enrollment 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. Also, Yamaha Corporation and domestic Group companies make it clear that harassment is a form of misconduct warranting discipline and disclosure, taking a stern stance toward all violations of human rights. The Group has also established compliance-related consultation and whistleblowing systems and institutes training sessions, seminars, and other education programs with the goal of fostering a workplace environment free of harassment. In order to prevent power harassment and other forms of harassment, manager training programs are implemented with a focus on acquiring harassment-related knowledge, developing skills for instructing subordinates, and improving communication between supervisors and subordinates.

We are also enhancing the education materials we provide to employees through means such as the production of the Yamaha Compliance Essentials, which are training tools for promoting increased understanding of our code of conduct, and the bolstering of monthly compliance-related information communications. In fiscal 2022, compliance questionnaires were administered to domestic Group employees. These questionnaires are conducted once every three years. The results of these questionnaires were used to analyze harassment risks on an organizational level, and the findings were reflected in efforts to address identified issues and improve our corporate culture.

Human Rights and Labor-Related Compliance Violations

None of the compliance consultations or reports received in fiscal 2023 indicated violations of human rights or labor regulations or other serious compliance violations that are equivalent to such violations.

Consideration of Human Rights in the Supply Chain

In the interest of furthering its policy concerning human rights throughout its supply chain, the Yamaha Group is making the following efforts. For more information, please refer to the following links.

  • 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 (stipulated in basic transaction contracts), and that suppliers carry out self-assessments based on the code of conduct (correction is requested as needed) as part of human rights due diligence

Prohibition of Forced and Child Labor

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 Yamaha Group Labor and Human Rights Specialized Rules, which were 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 identification documents and other documents that allow for confirmation of employees’ 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.

Human Rights Education

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. At domestic Group companies, the Yamaha Human Rights Guidebook, which is available in Japanese and English, is used to provide opportunities for all employees to think and learn about potential human rights violations that may occur during their daily business activities and steps to be taken to prevent said violations. Shared e-learning programs are held based on the content of this guidebook, and a total of 3,935 individuals took part in these programs in fiscal 2023. In addition, Group companies are implementing their own unique training programs, and human rights education programs are currently in place at 44 of the 47 Yamaha Group companies worldwide.

[Image] Yamaha Human Rights Guidebook (Excerpt)

Yamaha Human Rights Guidebook (Excerpt)

The Yamaha Group Labor and Human Rights Specialized Rules specify the content required for human rights education programs. Domestic and overseas Group companies are encouraged to spearhead their own human rights education programs, and the progress of these programs is monitored.

Furthermore, the following training and education programs are conducted in order to raise human rights awareness.

  • Provision of human rights-related information pertaining to the Group via the intranet as well as related e-learning programs
  • Quiz-style harassment prevention information programs conducted via the intranet
  • Training sessions and workshops on workplace human rights-related themes (CSR procurement seminars for purchasing representatives, human rights violation prevention workshops for public relations representatives)
  • Publication of guidebooks in Japanese and English for deepening understanding on how to produce advertisements that are more mindful of diversity
  • Seminars for officers and all other Group members