Japan firms to kill business deals involving Uyghur forced labor

Kyodo -- Feb 22
Twelve major Japanese companies have established a policy of ceasing business deals with Chinese companies found to benefit from the forced labor of the Muslim Uyghur minority in China's far-western Xinjiang region, a Kyodo News investigation showed Sunday.

Pressure has been mounting on Japanese firms to take action over such human rights abuses in the supply chain after the United States and Britain imposed import restrictions on cotton and other products originating from the autonomous region.

The Japanese government, which has been criticized for being slow to impose similar sanctions, has been passive in addressing the issue due to fears of provoking China.

In a report last year, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute identified over 80 global companies "directly or indirectly benefiting from the use of Uyghur workers outside Xinjiang through abusive labor transfer programs." Kyodo News recently asked 14 Japanese companies mentioned by the think tank how they plan to respond.

- Kyodo