A Fulfilling Workplace Environment

Promoting Diversity

Basic Approach

Sojitz emphasizes diversity as a way of furthering the success of employees and creating new values. The head office hires recent non-Japanese graduates of overseas universities to bring in global talent, in addition to increasing hiring and training of local staff overseas and implementing measures to provide career support for women. We will continue our efforts to make the Sojitz Group a rewarding and fulfilling place to work by creating personnel systems and working environments that empower all Sojitz Group employees to fully realize their potential regardless of characteristics such as race, nationality, gender or age.

Programs to Strengthen Hiring and Development of Local Employees

Global Next Leader Training, which includes the Global Professionals Development (GPD) and Global Next Leaders Development (GNLD) programs, is aimed at the development of local staff overseas. The GNLD was initiated in November 2011 and the GPD in February 2013. Participants thus far have included people from 30 countries in regions including the Americas, Europe, Asia, China, Oceania and the Middle East.

GPD participants

The GPD is designed to deepen employees’ understanding of the Sojitz culture, with a focus on its corporate organization and history, and uses business simulations to teach them to think like managers. The GNLD targets local employees overseas who are management candidates in positions higher than GPD participants. It similarly focuses on deepening understanding of Sojitz’s culture, its corporate organizations and business divisions, and its history, but is also aimed at teaching leadership through a program designed to improve communication skills in order to bring out the abilities of subordinates.

GPD session

■Comments from a Participant

The GNLD offered me the opportunity to improve my skills, develop my talents and face my weaknesses, and reinforced my ability to use my personal expertise and organization resources. Since then I have felt a stronger sense of confidence and unity with my department, which has enhanced my ability to go above and beyond my individual goals and the goals of my organization. Additionally, the GNLD has empowered me to shape a positive culture and promote harmony within my department.


Efforts to Promote Women in the Workforce

With respect to women in the workforce, as priority measures we are promoting initiatives to increase hiring of women for career track positions, introducing additional measures to ensure career continuity, and raising employee awareness to increase the number of female managers. Specifically, in addition to measures to increase the number of women employed in career-track positions, we are implementing various support measures, such as flexible working hours, to allow them to concurrently work and raise children. We have also introduced a reemployment system for female employees who accompany spouses who are transferred overseas, thus allowing them to resume their careers when they return to Japan. Furthermore, we are endeavoring to create a corporate culture that is accepting of diverse work styles by promoting understanding among all employees through ongoing career development for female employees, including providing opportunities at an early stage for employees to experience expatriate living and language training, as well as training for women in career-track positions and for female managers. Through these measures, we expect to increase the percentage of female employees in career-track positions to 20%. Our goals are to increase the percentage of female new college graduates hired for career-track positions to 30% (up from 24% of employees that joined the company April in 2017), and by 2021, to double the number of female managers to 54 (from 27 as of March 31, 2016).

Topics on diversity, including promotion of women in the workplace, are regularly discussed and reported on at management meetings and Board of Directors meetings in order to further promote the role of female employees within the company,. The Managing Executive Officer of Human Resources & General Affairs is in charge of undertaking these diversity initiatives. Furthermore, we have made the company-wide goal of “the empowerment of diverse human resources (such as senior, female, and foreign employees)” a component of organization appraisals.

Efforts to Promote Women in the Workforce

Action Plan for Promoting Women in the Workplace

Based on the “Act on Promotion of Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace,” we will continue striving for the promotion of women in the workplace with the following goals set to be achieved by March 31, 2020.

1. Increase the percentage of annual female new college graduate hired for career-track positions from 16% to 30%.

2. By 2021, double the number of female managers from 27 to 54.

Statistical Information on Women in the Workplace

Action Plan for Promoting Women in the Workplace

Reemployment System

As a result of several cases of women employees leaving employment at Sojitz to follow their spouses in overseas postings, Sojitz created a reemployment system for such women in May 2008. This system makes it possible for former employees to become part of Sojitz again when they return to Japan after completion of their spouses' overseas assignments.

Promoting Work-Life Balance

Promoting Work-Life Balance

Sojitz offers various support systems that enable employees to balance work with childcare and caring for family members. Childcare programs include extended childcare leave, shortened work hours for employees raising children, program to support employees returning to work after childcare leave, and subsidies for the use of babysitters. As a result of the introduction of these programs, Sojitz received “Kurumin” certification from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in 2010, 2012 and 2015 in recognition of its status as a business that supports the development of the next generation.


Outline of Child Care System

Outline of Child Care System


Outline of Child Care System

Sojitz also offers a range of nursing care programs that increase the number of family care leave days, reduce working hours for caregivers, allow employees to take leave for family care multiple times, and re-hire employees who leave the Company to care for family members. In addition, we have introduced a nursing care consultation hotline and a remote nursing care support program. These systems help to create fulfilling working environments.

While Sojitz has had a flextime system for many years, we recently eliminated the system’s “core time” during which employees were required to be in the office. Since November 2017, employees have been able to work the hours that best match their schedule, between 7AM and 8PM. This allows them to adjust working time themselves, allowing for visits to hospitals/care facilities and participation in children’s school events without using annual leave.

Sojitz also has the basic infrastructure in place to enable employees to work remotely, and we are revising the system and considering whether to introduce Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to further raise productivity. Although there are already a number of employees who work from home, we held a trial implementation in FY2017 for several departments, and we are now working to implement it throughout the company within the 2018 fiscal year.

Selected as a “Nadeshiko Brand”


In March 2017, we were selected by the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry and the Tokyo Stock Exchange as a “Nadeshiko Brand 2017” company for our exceptional efforts to promote the success of women in the workplace. The award recognized our efforts to help female employees advance their careers and for our initiatives to support work-life balance.




Health and Safety Initiatives

Basic Concept

In working to create a healthy and safe environment in which each and every employee is able to exercise their full potential, Sojitz manages the health of employees both in Japan and overseas, and has an emergency system in place for accidents and natural disasters.

1.Promoting a Healthy Style of Management

For the physical and mental health of employees, and to increase work motivation, we have established the Commitment to “Sojitz Healthy Value,” a Sojitz Group charter calling for the protection and improvement of employee health. Various plans under this initiative are currently underway.

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.

Workplace Health and Safety and Management of Employee Health

In accordance with the aims of the Industrial Safety and Health Law, 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 health management office staffed by occupational physicians and nurses. Initiatives based on these regulations are monitored by committees such as the safety and sanitation committee, which includes members of the company’s labor union.

Our medical care system in Tokyo HQ has a resident occupational physician, specialists in internal medicine (cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology) and psychiatry, and three nurses. The Osaka Office has a resident occupational physician, specialists in internal medicine and psychotherapy, and one nurse. Both offices have a system in place for employees to receive health consultations and a variety of medical procedures on a regular basis.

Health Initiatives

We take the following specific measures in order to maintain the health of our employees.

1. Increase percentage of employees that receive standard medical checkups
All employees are provided with the opportunity to receive an annual standard 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 (as of the end of November 2017, 96% had received checkups, with the goal being all employees). We also encourage employees to take any recommended additional medical tests.

2. Preventing infectious diseases
As prevention against infectious diseases, employees are able to sign up to receive a flu vaccination.

3. Measures taken against passive smoking
In working to reduce second-hand smoke, only heat-not-burn tobacco is permitted in the smoking booths at both Tokyo HQ and the Osaka Office.

4. Mental health measures
We conduct stress checks, striving to improve the working environment by having occupational psychologists provide counseling to employees experiencing high levels of stress, and conducting group analyses of each organization within the company. With medical specialists and a clinical psychologist on site, we have established a system whereby employees can receive counseling at any time.

5. Healthcare
At both Tokyo HQ and the Osaka Office, Sojitz has a Health Care Room where employees can receive massages to help them recover from fatigue and relieve stress resulting from work.


Initiatives to Curb Long Working Hours

Long working hours are a major cause of fatigue buildup. In consideration for the mental and physical health of employees, we are working to curb long working hours and promote the use of paid vacation days.

1. Promoting reduction in long working hours
We are promoting reduction in long working hours by prohibiting work after 8:00 PM in principle, and making it a goal that no employee should work more than 80 hours overtime per month. Compared with the 200 employees who worked more than 80 hours of overtime per month from April to November in FY2016, only 70 were found to work more than 80 hours overtime per month during the same period in FY2017. Although this represents a significant reduction, we intend to continue working to reduce this number.
* A work day at Sojitz is equal to 7 hours 15 minutes. The overtime figures above are based on this standard.

2. At least 15 paid vacation days taken per year (FY2017 goal, total of paid vacation days and summer vacation)
Starting from the second year of employment, Sojitz grants 20 days of paid leave and 5 summer vacation days to employees that worked a minimum of 80% of the previous year, totaling 25 days of paid leave per year. In FY2016, the average number of days taken was 11. In aiming for 70% or more days of annual leave taken, we set a goal of 15 days or more (equivalent to taking 60% of paid leave) for FY2017. Use of annual leave has been incorporated into each organization’s performance appraisal, and we will continue striving to increase the percentage of paid leave taken as part of our efforts to improve working culture.

3. Special paid leave system for employees with long records of service
After working continuously at Sojitz for 10 years, 20 years, and 30 years, employees are granted five days of special paid leave. We have a system in place enabling employees to add these five days on to paid leave or summer vacation, to take up to two weeks of consecutive leave. We encourage all eligible employees to take this special paid leave.

4. Promoting use of the flextime system
We have implemented a flextime system, providing employees with the flexibility to work in a way that fits their individual needs. In November 2017, we discontinued the “core time” during which employees were required to be in the office, enabling employees to work at their convenience between the hours of 7:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Striving for working hours that take into account employee health, we have also set intervals between working hours, encouraging employees to leave at least 10 hours between leaving the office and beginning work the following day.

5. We also monitor working hours for all employees via their computer usage. If these working hours exceed a certain amount, we share this fact with related parties and have the Human Resources and General Affairs Dept. instruct the employee’s superiors to fix the situation, such as by reassessing the employee’s workload and coming up with ways to improve their work efficiency.

2.Safety Measures and Crisis Management

Sojitz, beyond its business offices in Japan, has 82 offices overseas and 314 consolidated subsidiaries (as of September 30th, 2017), with numerous employees at HQ, related companies, and locations outside Japan.

To ensure the safety of employees and their families working in Japan and abroad, we have established the Sojitz Group Basic Crisis Management Policy. We have a crisis management system in place to handle unexpected situations in Japan and abroad, such as natural disasters including earthquakes and typhoons, as well as terrorism, war, crime, riots, infectious diseases, and cyber-attacks.

When sending employees on overseas assignment, we conduct pre-training on safety measures. In addition, we have alliances with emergency medical service companies, with a system in place to manage emergency situations faced by employees on overseas assignment and their families, including accidents, injury, and illness.

In Japan, we periodically conduct emergency drills and tests of our safety confirmation system in preparation for major natural disasters. These drills serve to protect employees and make it possible to continue operations in times of emergency.

Breakdown of Work-Related Accidents

The following table shows a breakdown of work-related accidents that have occurred. After determining the cause, if deemed necessary, we implement measures to prevent the accident from reoccurring.

For all items marked with a ◎ symbol below, Sojitz has acquired third-party assurance from KPMG AZSA Sustainability Co., Ltd. (Click here for details


FY2016 Sojitz Corporation

Type of Accident
Number of Occurrences
Work-related accident ◎
Illness/injury resulting in a leave of absence
Total days missed due to leave of absence
Illness/injury that did not result in a leave of absence
1 (Male:1) *1
Commuting accident ◎
Illness/injury resulting in a leave of absence
2 (Male: 0, Female: 2)
Total days missed due to leave of absence
1.5 *2
Illness/injury that did not result in a leave of absence
Fatalities ◎

Data only refers to permanent Sojitz employees. No contract employees suffered work-related accidents resulting in illness/injury.
*1: This work-related accident, which did not result in a leave of absence, entailed tripping on the stairs.
*2: Cases of illness/injury suffered during commute are limited to injury from contact with other people, and ankle sprains sustained while walking.


FY2016 Sojitz Corporation

FY2016 Sojitz Corporation
Industry Average (***)
LTIFR(*) ◎
OIFR(**) ◎

(*) LTIFR (Lost Time Injuries Frequency Rate): Calculated as total hours of lost working time ÷ cumulative hours worked x 1,000,000 (based on standards placed by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare).
(**) OIFR(Occupational Illness Frequency Rate):Calculated as instances of leave taken due to occupational illness ÷ cumulative hours worked x 1,000,000 (based on standards placed by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare).
(***) Industry averages are taken from the “FY2016 Industrial Accident Survey”


Employee Education

We educate employees on workplace health and safety at manager training sessions. At training for employees newly assigned as managers in FY2016 (37 employees), we educated them on the importance of properly managing working hours and points to take note of regarding working conditions. In FY2017, this training was held for all managers (147 employees). In accordance with our efforts to improve working culture as described above, we cover reduction in long working hours, setting targets for paid leave, and initiatives for a “healthy style of management,” striving to increase awareness throughout the company.

Labor-Management Relations

As part of the Company's efforts to inculcate its management policies and vision, Sojitz and the Sojitz Employees Union regularly hold meetings of the President's Labor-Management Council and the Financial Results Briefing Council. Furthermore, the Company and the union jointly established the Work-Life Balance Committee to create systems for realizing work-life balance and a work environment that sustains employees' enthusiasm.

Working from Home

Due to illness, I became unable to commute, so I left my sales job with an IT company. I was introduced to a job I could do at home for Sojitz through a support group. My work consists of information-gathering about hiring and diversity and maintaining Sojitz's internal website on these topics. I work four days a week in a home office that Sojitz readied for me, and I feel grateful and motivated in my work.
※Excerpt from CSR Report 2009, issued Aug. 2009

Yoshiyuki Kunishige

Yoshiyuki Kunishige
Human Resources& General Affairs Dept., HR Administration & Recruitment Sect.