At Sojitz, we consider our employees to be our greatest asset. We feel it is our responsibility to create a safe, flexible, and rewarding work environment that promotes the mental and physical well-being of our staff and to support the health of their families. In March 2018, we established the “Sojitz Healthy Value” charter to protect and improve employee health, which is based on our belief that when highly-motivated employees are able to exercise their full potential, Sojitz is able to expand its capabilities as an organization, as well as our commitment to create “value and prosperity.” Various plans under this initiative are currently underway, and Sojitz will continue its efforts to strengthen health management activities at the company.
Our Commitment to “Sojitz Healthy Value”
✓We believe that the physical and mental health of employees and a sound working environment are the keys to creating “value and prosperity,” as set forth in our corporate statement.
✓Sojitz Group supports the individual efforts employees and their families make towards
maintaining and improving their health, striving for a work environment in which each and
Every employee is able to fully exercise their abilities.
New Initiatives Under Medium-term Management Plan 2020
Sojitz has seen a rise in employees with adult-onset diseases in recent years, as well as an increase in employees receiving ongoing treatment for cancer or other illnesses. We are strengthening our Health Support Office’s capability to not only prevent illnesses and promote health, but enable employees to continue working during their treatment by implementing the following policies.
Standard medical checkups for all employees
All employees are provided with the opportunity to receive a standard annual medical checkup. Striving to increase this percentage, we encourage employees that do not undergo a checkup at this time to receive a checkup separately at their convenience. Sojitz achieved the goal of having 100% of employees receive checkups in FY2018 and FY2019. We contiue to encourage employees to take any additional recommended medical tests. These medical screenings aim to detect and treat diseases at an early stage.
Sojitz is partnering with a well-known cancer research hospital to not only offer the usual cancer-related screenings in the health check, but also conduct examinations such as endoscopies, colonoscopies, chest CTs, and tumor marker tests. These additional screenings are held once every three years, targeting employees aged 40 years or older. In this way, we strive to detect cancer at an early stage and ensure employees are provided with the appropriate treatment. Alongside these cancer tests, we hold a cancer seminar to inform employees about basic cancer information and provide them with an explanation of the exams.
Sojitz provides compensation for advanced cancer treatment (recognized as advance treatment by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare) to its employees and their families to ensure that health treatments can be prioritized.
An implemented health management system
Sojitz’s Health Support Office focuses on both the physical and mental health of employees. In June 2019, the Health Support Office introduced a health management system to better monitor changes in employee health.
Regular medical checkups (annual physicals, health exams for lifestyle-related diseases, and cancer screenings) and stress assessments are carried out routinely for all employees. If changes are observed in an employee’s health, the Health Support Office now has a system in place to reach out to these individual employees and provide support services that include a place to discuss work-related stress.
Passive smoking measures
In working to reduce second-hand smoke, only heat-not-burn tobacco is permitted in the smoking booths at both Tokyo HQ and the Kansai Office. From FY2020, we set a target of reducing the number of employees who regularly smoke from 22%(FY2019) to 12% by the end of FY2023.
Support for healthy lifestyles
We are aiming to reduce the percentage of employees over 35-year-old with BMI higher than 30 to less than one percent by the end of the FY2023. In order to achive this target, we have not only set up a health counseling service as part of the Health Support Office, but also placed a national registered dietitian on site, who provides nutritional advice to help prevent adult-onset diseases. We are also working to curtail the trend of adult-onset illnesses by providing employees with low-carb boxed lunches with high nutritional value.
Mental health measures
With the help of our industrial psychiatrist, we have been conducting various programs for prevention of onse, early detection, early treatment and recurrence prevention from the FY2020. Also, we conduct annual stress assessments, as called for by Japan’s Industrial Safety & Health Act, and strive to improve the working environment by having occupational psychologists provide counseling to employees experiencing high levels of stress, in addition to conducting group analyses of each organization within the company. With mental health specialists and a clinical psychologist on site, we have established a system whereby employees can receive counseling at any time. Additionally, we work to increase awareness of mental health management by holding seminars for management-level staff who are in a position to communicate closely with their staff. Through these programs, we are aiming to reduce the percentage of employees taking a temporary leave due to mental illness by half by the end of the FY2023.
Healthcare and vaccinations
At both Tokyo HQ and the Kansai Office, Sojitz has a health care room where employees can receive massages to help them recover from work-related fatigue and stress. In order to promote the health of employees and proper work-life management, we have a service in place for employees to use fitness clubs at a discount. As prevention against infectious diseases, employees are also able to sign up to receive a flu vaccination on site. To prevent the COVID-19 spread, the latest information from safety and hygiene committees are shared between industrial physicians in Tokyo and Osaka. We are implementing preventive measures such as wearing a mask, disinfectant installed on each floor, mask distribution, hand washing etc.
Support for employees and family members undergoing treatments
Sojitz has measures in place which aim to gradually help employees acclimate to work after extended absence for treatment by limiting working hours as necessary. We also enable employees to balance treatment with work by encouraging them to utilize remote work and the super flextime system that has eliminated core time.
Work Style Reforms
Sojitz is coordinating its health-related initiatives in conjunction with work-style reforms, which include measures to reduce long working hours, encourage employees to take paid leave and utilize the flextime system, and provide special vacation time for long-term employees.
Health Support System
To promote and protect the health of employees, the President, as the head of occupational health and safety for the company, has created the following system through discussion and collaboration with the HR Dept.’s Health Support Office, the Sojitz Health Insurance Society, and the Sojitz Labor Union.
1. In accordance with the aims of the Industrial Safety and Health Law,which includes approaches to mental health and the prevention and reduction of stress, Sojitz has established safety and sanitation management regulations to prevent work-related accidents and employee illness, promote health, and encourage the development of workplace infrastructure. We manage employee health through a clinic and the Health Support Office, which are staffed by occupational physicians and nurses.
2. As part of our initiatives based on these regulations, Sojitz also has its Safety and Sanitation
Committee convene every month to monitor safety and sanitation activities (through reports on safety and sanitation activities, discussion of improvement plans, etc.). The results of these meetings are then posted internally for all employees to view.
The Safety and Sanitation Committee is comprised of members from the Human Resources Dept., occupational physicians, and members of the labor union. There are 9 members in Tokyo (5 on the company side + 4 from the labor union) and 6 members in Osaka (3 from the company side + 3 from the labor union).
Safety and Sanitation Management Regulations
In accordance with the aims of the Industrial Safety and Health Law, Sojitz has set safety and sanitation management regulations to prevent work-related accidents and employee illness, promote health, and encourage the development of workplace infrastructure. These regulations establish the management structure, the Safety and Sanitation Committee, and mandate medical checkups and stress assessments.
FY2019 Health Check Results
Percentages of employees who underwent the heatlh check:
FY2017 (99.7%), FY2018 (100%), FY2019(100%)
Health Support Office / Clinic
Sojitz has established the Health Support Office to conduct health management activities, such as monitoring employee health through medical checkups. Both Tokyo HQ and Kansai Office are equipped with clinics that employ specialists in a variety of fields. Tokyo HQ has an occupational physician, internist (cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology), specialist psychiatrist, one occupational nurse, and four nurses on site at all times. The Kansai Office also has an occupational physician, internist, psychosomatic medicine specialist, and one nurse on staff. These medical professionals are on site to discuss daily health-related concerns and provide medical treatments.
Employee Usage of On Site Health Services
|Total # of users
Sojitz Group Initiatives
Based on the Sojitz Group’s Commitment to “Sojitz Healthy Value,” we are involved in protecting and improving employee health through initiatives for Sojitz Group companies. More specifically, these services include medical referrals for cancer screenings, second opinions offered by on site occupational physicians, overseas pre-dispatch trainings, and provide support by partnering with treatment providersoverseas. Educational information is shared at the regularly-held liaison meetings for Group companies, including updates on health management activities, lectures by psychiatrists and work-style reform initiatives. Information sessions were organized with guest lecturers to explain Japan’s work-style reform laws.
Awards & Recognition
Sojitz’s efforts to champion employee health were recognized as part of the Development Bank of Japan’s “DBJ Employee Health Management Rating.” In February 2020, Sojitz was also certified as a “White 500” company by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry and NPO Nippon Kenko Kaigi for actively working to promote employee health as a facet of business management and implementing strategichealth management initiatives.