Sojitz Corporation


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

Outside of Japan, Sojitz has a nearly 100 offices, subsidiaries, and liaison offices in locations around the globe. The following training is one way we work to further develop the locally-hired staff at our overseas offices and promote business rooted in the regional economy.

Developing the next generation of leaders for overseas offices
We aim to develop local staff overseas through Sojitz’s Global Professionals Development Program (GPD) and Global Next Leaders Development (GNLD) programs. 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.


Expansion of local business by overseas staff
We provide locally-hired staff with opportunities to transfer between offices within their region and between regions, as well as to transfer to the head office in Tokyo, in order to help the best Sojitz talent around the world expand local business utilizing their information and networks rooted in the local community. For example, one staff member from Sojitz Shanghai was transferred to the Sojitz Corporation of America office in New York City. As of August 2018, 10 people have transferred between regions or moved to Tokyo HQ, and these individuals are working to create new customers, build new business, and generally expand business in their regions.


■ Number and percentage of foreign employees:

Year ended March 31, 2016
Year ended March 31, 2017
Year ended March 31, 2018
Number of foreign employees
Total number of employees


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

Data on Women in the Workplace

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

Click here for details

Third-Party Assurance on Women in the Workplace

<Scope of third-party assurance>For fiscal year ended March 31, 2019:
- percentage of female employees, percentage of female management-level employees, percentage of women hired, difference between men and women in years of continuous employee service, percentage of female directors



■ Percentage of female employees

Year ended
March 31, 2015
Year ended
March 31, 2016
Year ended
March 31, 2017
Year ended
March 31, 2018

Number of female employees

Total number of employees








[Employees in
management positions]

Female management-level employees

Total number of managers









*Employees include full-time contract employees, but do not include directors, executive officers, Audit & Supervisory Board members, and employees who retired as of March 31.



■ Percentage of women hired

Year ended
March 31, 2015
Year ended
March 31, 2016
Year ended
March 31, 2017
Year ended
March 31, 2018
April 2018
[New graduates hired]

Number of female employees

Total number of employees










[Mid-career hires]

Number of female employees

Total number of employees









*April 2018 covers only new employees joining the company in April.
*Female new graduates hired include administrative-track employees.



■ Difference between men and women in years of continuous employee service

Year ended
March 31, 2015
Year ended
March 31, 2016
Year ended
March 31, 2017
Year ended
March 31, 2018
Average years of
employee service
Average years of
female employee service [a]
Average years of
male employee service [b]
Female to male ratio of
years of employee service a÷b

*For employees that retire at the mandatory retirement age and are rehired without a break, years of employee service are counted cumulatively.
Average years of employee service calculated in the case of not counting years of employee service cumulatively:
Year ended March 31, 2015 (15.4); Year ended March 31, 2016 (15.4); Year ended March 31, 2017 (15.4); Year ended March 31, 2018 (15.3)



■ Percentage of women in director roles

Year ended
March 31, 2015
Year ended
March 31, 2016
Year ended
March 31, 2017
Year ended
March 31, 2018
Number of female directors

Total number of directors





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 Management

Promoting Work-Life Balance

Sojitz offers various support systems for work-life management, enabling employees to balance work with childcare and caregiving for family members.
In July 2018, Sojitz received the “Kurumin” certification for supporting the development of the next generation, from the Tokyo Labor Bureau for the fourth time since 2010.
Under the new General Employer Action Plan, in FY2018 we began initiatives to create a corporate culture which makes it possible for working parents to pursue both work and childcare, and to establish a work environment that supports the careers of employees after childbirth.

Sojitz Corporation Action Plan


Outline of Child Care System

Outline of Child Care System


<Special Paid Leave (Maternity Leave) >
In addition to six weeks of special paid leave before giving birth, by submitting a medical certificate from a doctor, employees can request an additional two weeks of special paid leave.

Outline of Child Care System

Male employees raising children are granted one week of paid childcare leave. Furthermore, identical to the system for female employees, male employees can take childcare leave up to when the child reaches the age of two and half, which exceeds the legally established age. While currently 22.8% of male employees take childcare leave, by broadening awareness of childcare leave among male employees, we are aiming to increase this number to over 30%. The number of male employees using the babysitter support system is also increasing each year, and we will strive to further expand this system.

■ Percentage of male employees that take childcare leave:

Year ended March 31st, 2016
Year ended March 31st, 2017
Year ended March 31st, 2018
Percentage of male employees
that take childcare leave


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

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 management system through discussion and collaboration with the HR & GA Dept.’s health management 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 health management office 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 status of efforts to improve labor safety and sanitation are also regularly reported to the Board of Directors.

The safety and sanitation committee is comprised of members from the Human Resources & General Affairs 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).

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.

Creating a Healthy Office Environment

We have implemented the following initiatives in order to create a comfortable working environment for employees.

List of initiatives for creating a healthy office environment

Health Initiatives

Sojitz has seen a rise in employees with adult-onset diseases in recent years, as well as an increase in employees receiving constant treatment for cancer or other illnesses. We are implementing the following policies to not only prevent illnesses and promote health, but to enable employees to continue working during their treatment.

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, 99.6% had received checkups, with the goal being all employees). We also encourage employees to take any recommended additional medical tests, as well as encourage employees working overseas to undergo medical checks during their time there.

2. Cancer policies
Sojitz is collaborating with a well-known cancer research hospital to not only include the usual cancer-related items in the health check, but also conduct examinations utilizing stomach cameras, colonoscopies, chest CTs, and tumor markers. These 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 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 exam.

We also create an environment which gives employees and their families the peace of mind to concentrate on the healing process, by providing a subsidy in the event their cancer is among those designated by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare as requiring state-of-the-art treatment.

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. Support healthy lifestyles
We have not only set up a health counseling service as part of the Health Care Room, 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 boxed lunches featuring low carbs and high nutritional value.

5. Mental health measures
We conduct annual stress checks, as called for by Japan’s Industrial Safety & Health Act, 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 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 “line care” seminars for management-level staff.

6. Healthcare / preventing infectious diseases
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, and 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.

7. Help employees balance treatment with work
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 the flextime system (no core time).


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.

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 58 employees who worked more than 80 hours of overtime per month from April to August in FY2017, only 38 were found to work more than 80 hours overtime per month during the same period in FY2018. 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 FY2017, the average number of days taken was 14. 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 FY2018. In order to promote use of annual leave, we implement work sharing for each organization and incorporate use of annual leave into each organization’s performance appraisal. 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.

These initiatives led to accolades for Sojitz in June 2018, when our efforts to show consideration for employees’ health were recognized as part of the Development Bank of Japan’s “DBJ Employee Health Management Rating.”

2.Safety Measures and Crisis Management

Sojitz, beyond its business offices in Japan, has 83 offices overseas and 320 consolidated subsidiaries (as of June 31st, 2018), 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/FY2017 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)
2 (Male: 1, Female: 1)
Total days missed due to leave of absence
1.5 *2
2 *3
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.
*3: Cases of illness/injury suffered during commute are limited to one injury sustained due to the onset of illness during commute and one which occurred in avoiding contact with other people.


FY2016/FY2017 Sojitz Corporation

Sojitz Corporation
Industry Average (***)
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 “FY2017 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

Sojitz respects workers’ rights, including the right to free association and the right to collective bargaining. We constantly monitor relations between the labor union and the management, maintaining constant dialogue with both parties to confirm whether these rights are appropriately safeguarded.

[Sojitz Labor Union]
The Sojitz Labor Union was established in 2005, under a charter which includes a union shop clause. As of March 31st, 2018, the union comprises 1,528 employees belonging to 60% of Sojitz’s total organizations. It aims to create prosperity for the company, improve the economic and social standing of union members, and pursue greater benefits for company employees. They have succeeded in creating a favorable relationship between the union and management by respecting each side’s position, conducting discussion in good faith, and sharing information and necessary.

* We regularly communicate with employee representatives and the Labor Union's other members, as well as monitor and share information on labor rights risks.

[Discussion with the Labor Union]
The union and management discuss the HR system, salary (both in Japan and abroad), bonus, severance pay, pension, employee health and safety, working hours, training, and career development. Systems and policies are only implemented upon agreement from both parties. They also discuss any major reorganization which would impact employees’ working conditions, and employees can confirm the content of these discussions themselves on the company intranet.

[Dialogue with the Management]
We regularly hold meetings to ensure company management policies and vision are well understood, such as meetings with the President, meetings with the Executive Officer in charge of HR & GA, dialogues with the COOs, and financial closing briefings. We also promote the construction of systems which create a motivating work environment for employees and which help achieve work/life balance, such as the Work Style Reforms Promotion Committee which was established jointly by the union and the management.

[Inspiring Communication]
The Tokyo Office held “Sojitz Family Day” in August 2017 through cooperation between the union and management, with a “Sojitz Field Day” for Tokyo and “Sojitz Family Day” for Osaka held in August of the following year. We are working to create a stronger sense of solidarity between staff by continuing to hold events which contribute to inspiring multidirectional communication not only with employees, but with their families as well.

[A Message from the Sojitz Labor Union]
The Sojitz Labor Union believes that if each employee takes pride in their work at Sojitz, feels the value of their work, and demonstrates their abilities to the utmost, this will lead to further growth for employees themselves and for the company as a whole. We are working to create a work environment which enables each employee to think proactively and take on new challenges. The values held by union members vary greatly from person to person, but as their representative, the union aims to provide advice to the company through wide-ranging dialogue with the management, bringing the union and management together based on our mutual trust and building the future of Sojitz.

Full time members of Sojitz Employees Union



* Supplement
■ Labor Union’s rights guaranteed by “Japan’s Labor Standards Act” and “Labor Union Law”
• Workers' representatives are respected by Japan's Labor Standards Act and Labor Union Law. Additionally, we proactively communicate with the workers' representative in the Labor Union, and we always respect workers' representative's opinions.
• The effective exercise of the trade union's rights in the workplace is guaranteed by Japan's Labor Union Law, and all the activities of Sojitz Corporation are in compliance with this Law.

■ Change in working conditions for employees
• When we change working conditions for employees or make any changes which could potentially impact working conditions for employees, we proactively conduct collective bargaining and carefully explain the background of such change, impact to employees, and so on.
• When we change working conditions for employees, we consult with an external Labor Law lawyer in advance.

■ Training
• All newly-hired employees are given the opportunity to undergo training sessions on union rights, conducted by the Labor Union, during the training period in their first year of employment.

■ Information for employees shared by Labor Union
• The Labor Union has a dedicated intranet through which union members can get information. This includes not only their rights, but also the meeting minutes of collective bargaining sessions.
• For employees throughout the world, the Labor Union shares information on collective bargaining minutes and our company policy and strategy etc. in a timely manner, through intranet of the company and/or by e-mail system.
• We provide a dedicated Labor Union room and allow them to use the company meeting rooms and other related facilities of the company, as necessary for their activities.

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