Health and Safety
At Sojitz, we consider our employees to be our greatest asset. We believe 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 their families. Sojitz has established an emergency system for ensuring the safety of employees both in Japan and overseas in the event of an accident or natural disaster, as part of Sojitz’s efforts to create a healthy and safe environment in which each and every employee is able to exercise their full potential.
Health Management: Sojitz Healthy Value Charter
We believe that when highly motivated employees exercise their full potential, Sojitz can expand its capabilities as an organization and fulfill its commitment to creating “value and prosperity.” In March 2018, we established the Sojitz Healthy Value charter to protect and improve employee health. 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.
Regulations for Health and Safety Management
In accordance with the aims of the Industrial Safety and Health Law, Sojitz established its Health and Safety Policy to prevent work-related accidents and employee illness, promote health, and encourage the development of workplace infrastructure. The policy includes provisions on the Sojitz’s health management structure, the Safety & Sanitation Committee, and annual health checks and stress assessments.
Safety Policies & Crisis Management: Sojitz Group Basic Crisis Management Policy
Sojitz, beyond its business offices in Japan, has 88 offices overseas and 294 consolidated subsidiaries (as of December 31st, 2022), with numerous employees at HQ, affiliates, and locations outside Japan.
To ensure the safety of employees and their families working in Japan and abroad, Sojitz has established the Sojitz Group Basic Crisis Management Policy. Sojitz has set in place a crisis management system for responding to natural disasters, including earthquakes and typhoons, and other unforeseen incidents in Japan and abroad such as terrorist attacks, war, crime, riots, infectious diseases, and cyber-attacks.
In strengthening our crisis management functions for natural disasters, we have also introduced resources to help employees collect information in the event of a natural disaster, take precautionary measures for unusual weather phenomenon, and quickly respond to an emergency. We have constructed a framework to quickly and efficiently confirm the safety of employees and their families, installing a system to confirm the safety of employees at our Tokyo HQ and at Sojitz Group companies in Japan.
The basic tenets of the Sojitz Group Basic Crisis Management Policy are as follows:
- Ensure the safety of employees and others
- Ensure the safety of company assets and restart operations as soon as possible
- Support stakeholders and the local community
- Strengthen crisis response and raise crisis management awareness
The president is designated as the chief crisis management officer, and a group-wide system for crisis management in Japan and overseas is in place. In the event of a major disaster, an emergency task force headed by the president is established to respond to any crisis.
When employees are posted overseas, we provide training on safety measures, etc. in advance of their departure. Also, in cooperation with emergency medical service companies, we have a system in place to respond to emergencies such as accidents, injuries, and illnesses of overseas employees and their families.
In Japan, we conduct disaster drills and safety confirmation drills in preparation for a large-scale disaster, and conduct other drills necessary to protect employees and ensure business continuity in the event of an emergency.
- ・Sojitz maintains its record of having 100% of employees participate in the annual health check. Moving forward, Sojitz aims to achieve 70% attendance at any recommended follow-up health check appointments by FY2023.
- ・Sojitz aims to reduce the percentage of employees who smoke from 22% (FY2019) to 12% by the end of FY2023.
- ・Sojitz aims to reduce the percentage of employees (aged 35 or older) with a BMI of 30 or greater to less than 1%.
- ・Sojitz aims to reduce the percentage of employees taking temporary leave due to mental illness by half (from the FY2019 total) by FY2023.
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., Corporate Sustainability Dept., the Sojitz Health Insurance Society, and the Sojitz Labor Union. The DEI Management Section (established as part of the Corporate Sustainability Dept.) plans and operates various measures to promote health and diversity management. In cooperation with the Human Resources Dept., it works to promote health and improve productivity in the Sojitz Group.
The structure of Sojitz’s health management system is detailed below:
- 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. Sojitz manages employee health through the Health Care Room (which is staffed by occupational physicians and nurses), Human Resources Dept. and the Corporate Sustainability Dept.
- As part of our initiatives based on these regulations, Sojitz’s Safety & Sanitation Committee convenes every month to monitor health and safety 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 & Sanitation Committee is comprised of members from the Human Resources Dept., Corporate Sustainability Dept., occupational physicians, and members of the Sojitz Labor Union. There are 9 members at Sojitz’s Tokyo headquarters (5 from Sojitz Corporation and 4 from the Sojitz Labor Union) and 6 members at Sojitz’s Kansai Office (3 from Sojitz Corporation and 3 from the Sojitz Labor Union).
Organizational Structure for Health Management Promotion
In addition to employee health management and health checkups conducted by the Corporate Sustainability Dept., both Tokyo HQ and the Kansai Office are equipped with Health Care Rooms that employ specialists in a variety of fields. Tokyo HQ has an occupational physician, internists (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 location. These medical professionals are on site to discuss daily health-related concerns and provide medical treatments.
Safety Policies & Crisis Management
Sojitz’s safety framework establishes the president and CEO as bearing the highest responsibility for managing crises and provides a structure for Sojitz Group to manage crises both within and outside of Japan. Sojitz’s policies also call for the establishment of a Disaster Task Force, headed by the president and CEO, as an organization to specifically handle crisis response.
When sending employees on overseas assignment, we conduct pre-training on safety measures. In addition, we have partnerships 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 disasters. These drills serve to protect employees and make it possible to continue operations in times of emergency.
We educate managers on workplace health and safety measures at manager training sessions. In FY2022, this training was held for all general managers and section managers (including deputy general managers and deputy section managers) (249 employees). At the training, in accordance with Sojitz’s work style reforms, we explained our company-wide efforts to reduce overtime (prohibiting overtime in excess of 80 hours per month for all employees, including managers), goal setting for employees’ use of paid leave (set at 17 or more days annually), and other health management-related initiatives. In this way, we take every precaution to ensure that these policies are understood throughout the company and work to link them to increased productivity. In addition, we have included important targets such as reducing overtime work and increasing use of paid leave in our organizational performance evaluation.
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 Offices’ capabilities for not only preventing illnesses and promoting health, but also enabling employees to continue working during their treatment. This is done by implementing the following policies.
Standard medical checkups and follow-ups for all employees
All employees are provided with the opportunity to receive a standard annual medical checkup and gynecological checkup. Striving to increase this percentage, we advise employees that do not undergo a checkup at this time to receive a checkup separately at their convenience. Moving forward, we will continue to actively encourage employees to take any additional recommended medical tests in order to detect and treat illnesses early.
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.
As of FY2022, all female employees are eligible for routine cervical and breast cancer screenings, and Sojitz is strengthening its efforts to support women’s health. Sojitz also invites medical specialists to hold seminars on maintaining good health including self-care techniques to reduce health risks specific to women and address physical changes due to aging.
An implemented health management system
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, 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 with dedicated staff to reach out to these individual employees and provide support services that include a place to discuss work-related stress.
Passive smoking measures
In order to maintain the health of our employees, we have set a goal to reduce the smoking rate from 22% (FY2019) to 12% by the end of FY2023. To aid in this we closed the smoking booths at both the Tokyo Headquarters and Kansai Office at the end of March 2023. We will continue to implement the smoking cessation program and seminars on smoking cessation, which have been implemented since FY2020, and aim to achieve our goal 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 achieve this target, we have not only set up a health counseling services, but also expanding the scope of our support. We do this by providing nutritional guidance to those with pre-diabetes and other lifestyle-related diseases, as well as offering nutritious, low-sugar boxed lunches to employees. We also hold seminars on women's health support and other health issues.
Mental health measures
With the help of our industrial psychiatrist, we have been conducting various programs for prevention of onset, 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 FY2023.
Preventing the spread of infection
As part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Sojitz provided workplace vaccinations for Group company employees and their families in order to ensure that all Sojitz Group members can work in a safe environment. Sojitz also conducts COVID-19 antigen testing of employees (approximately JPY 17 million was allocated for antigen tests in FY2022). Sojitz’s Safety & Sanitation Committee cooperates with the industrial physicians at Tokyo HQ and the Kansai Office to share the latest updates and information relating to COVID-19. Other prevention measures include placing hand sanitizer on every floor and monitoring the status of all individuals reporting a fever. Sojitz also encourages employees to receive the flu vaccine each year and provides subsidies to cover the cost of vaccination (approximately JPY 3.3 million has been provided in subsidies since FY2019).
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, Sojitz offers a service that allows employees to use fitness clubs at a discount.
Progress of Health Management Initiatives
|Participation in annual health checks||100%||100%||100%|
|Participation in detailed (follow-up) examinations||24％||49％||67％|
|Obesity rates (individuals with a BMI of 30 or above)||2.3%
|Employees for whom the company supports ongoing medical treatment||100%||100%||100%|
|Employees receiving specialized healthcare guidance||21％||20％||20％|
|Employees who exercise regularly1||17％||22％||33％|
|Walking Campaign participants||638||691||751|
|Participation in the annual stress check||94％||91％||95％|
|Employees experiencing high stress levels||4.8％||6.3％||6.4％|
|Employees on leave of absence due to illness/injury||0.2％||0.3％||0.2％|
|Absenteeism||0.2 days||0.8 days||0.7 days|
|Satisfaction with health-related initiatives||ー||84％||ー|
1: Percentage of employees who responded “Yes” to either of the following survey questions: 1) “Do you perform 30 minutes of exercise (in which you break a sweat) twice a week or more, and have you maintained this habit for a year or longer?” and, 2) “On average, do you perform a moderate physical activity like walking for an hour or longer per day?”
Presenteeism (WHO Health and Work Performance Questionnaire): 39% (first measured in FY2022)
The percent of employees undergoing follow-up examinations is improving, but we intend to work with our occupational physicians to continue to increase this figure. The percent of employees that report regularly exercising is increasing along with the number of Walking Campaign participants, and the percent of employees who smoke is also decreasing. Moving forward, we will implement measures for improving employee habits and lifestyles in order to decrease the obesity rate. We aim to continue to enhance collaboration with our occupational psychiatrist as we strive to decrease the percent of employees taking leave for mental health reasons and reduce absenteeism.
Support for employees and family members undergoing treatments
Sojitz has measures in place which aim to gradually help employees acclimate to work after extended absences for treatment by limiting working hours as necessary. We also enable employees to balance medical treatment and work by encouraging them to utilize remote work and the super flextime system that has eliminated core time. Sojitz is also focusing its efforts on supporting the health of employees’ families, such as through a counseling service available to employees and their family members.
Health and Safety Measures & Crisis Management
A Safe and Healthy Office Environment
Sojitz implements office furnishings and lighting to create a safe and healthy office environment.
Employee Usage of On-Site Health Counselling Service and Health Care Rooms
|Number of users||
Average overtime hours
|26 hours||25 hours||20 hours||25 hours||26 hours|
Data on Work-Related Accidents
To ensure a safe working environment, we monitor the occurrence of occupational accidents with the goal of ensuring zero occupational accidents and zero fatalities. In the event of an occupational accident, we have established a system to determine the cause of the accident and, if deemed necessary, implement measures to prevent recurrence. Please refer to "Related Links" below for performance against targets.