A Message from the Chief Compliance Officer
What is the NYK Group’s basic approach to compliance?
Cases have arisen recently in which deciding whether there has been an infringement of law, such as antitrust law and bribery law, has been challenging. We need to pave the way towards practices that prevent employees from infringing laws unintentionally. The NYK Group Mission Statement sets out our basic approach to compliance. ‘Through safe and dependable monohakobi (transport), we contribute to the betterment of societies throughout the world as a comprehensive global logistics enterprise offering ocean, land, and air transportation’. In other words, we are keenly aware that we work for society.
However, this mission must not lead to the view that any actions are justifiable. Each employee has to realise that even if actions are intended to benefit customers or society, those actions could cause misunderstanding, and being misunderstood is a danger in certain situations.
In the context of the NYK Group’s global business development, which compliance risks require particular attention?
In addition to antitrust law, we have to address the prevention of bribery and other types of corruption. Reflecting countries’ characteristics, we will establish regulations for each region. The determination of bribery prevention regulations is extremely challenging because overly restrictive regulations impede business development. Risk is inherent in business. If employees fear such risk, they will be unable to do anything. By preparing guidelines that show the scope of permission, I would like to provide an environment that allows employees to concentrate on carrying out their duties.
Other important compliance risks include human rights and labour practices. In 2006, the NYK Group announced its endorsement of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).
We subsequently conducted a human resources survey of Group companies around the world with respect to human rights, labour, the environment, and corruption prevention. Another compliance risk is economic sanctions. Economic sanctions have resulted in the freezing of settlements, giving rise to the possibility that a Group vessel will be unable to call at a port. In 2015, to address various compliance risks, for each region we appointed legal counsel that has expertise in the respective countries’ laws and affairs. This step has improved our ability to gather comprehensive information and take legal countermeasures rapidly.
What will be the keys to spreading compliance awareness throughout the NYK Group?
Constant training for each generation is important. Established in April 2013, the Executive Committee Overseeing Thorough Antitrust and Anti-bribery Law Compliance recently updated its name to include anti-bribery and thus remind all employees of our commitment to rigorously address various risks. As I mentioned, antitrust law is not the only compliance risk we face.
Also, we revise the NYK Code of Conduct. As well as distributing the revised code in booklet form, we will have NYK employees sign it to encourage personal ownership of the code and reflection on the performance of day-to-day duties. It is our desire for all NYK Group companies around the world to operate under the standardised ethos laid out in this Code of Conduct.
Response to Antitrust Law
Since September 2012, the NYK Group has been investigated by authorities in Europe and other authorities overseas on suspicion of the violation of antitrust law in relation to the transport of automobiles and other cargoes. Further, in the United States and other countries, actions for damages (class action lawsuits) have been filed against the Company and certain overseas subsidiaries.
We apologise sincerely to all stakeholders for causing concern.
We view as a grave matter the fact that an incident occurred even though we had taken a range of measures to prevent such incidents. Prior to this incident, the president had issued an announcement regarding rigorous compliance with antitrust law; we had established and managed control networks in each division at NYK Headquarters as well as Group companies in Japan and overseas; we had prepared manuals and conducted a variety of in-house training on antitrust law; and we had established regulations pertaining to contact with competitors. Further, in response to the incident, we are building systems and advancing measures to heighten the awareness of each officer and employee of the Group and to reinforce rigorous compliance with antitrust law.
- Management level
- In April 2013, the Company established the Executive Committee Overseeing Thorough Antitrust Law Compliance. At biannual meetings of the committee, members of senior management of each business unit share information on initiatives in their respective departments.
Meetings of the committee were convened in September 2015 (123 attendees) and March 2016 (126 attendees).
- Frontline operations level
- All business units, including Group companies in Japan and overseas, take the initiative in conducting risk assessments and establishing guidelines. After risk assessments are completed, business units and legal departments revise guidelines.
- Business project level
- In-house lawyers use specialist knowledge to evaluate new investments.
- Individual level
- We obtain antitrust law compliance pledges from each employee.
In fiscal 2014, we began extending this initiative to include Group companies in Japan and overseas.
Antitrust Law Compliance Training Sessions in Fiscal 2015
|Numbers of sessions||Number of attendees|
|Aiming to educate employees about antitrust law in Japan and overseas, heighten compliance awareness, and ensure actual operations being reflected this education and awareness, we revised and issued Japanese, English, and Chinese versions of our antitrust law manual.|
To ensure each NYK Group employee is fully aware of antitrust law compliance, we conduct antitrust law compliance training at Group companies in Japan and other countries. In fiscal 2009, we began this training, in which 19,445 Group employees have participated. In fiscal 2015, we held 87 training sessions, in which 1,999 employees participated (Japan: 69 sessions, 1,382 participants; overseas: 18 sessions, 617 participants).
In conjunction with the abovementioned training, we have introduced e-learning in Japanese, English, and Chinese targeting all business units, including Group companies in Japan and overseas. In fiscal 2015, 11,799 employees participated in e-learning programmes (Japan: 4,569 participants; overseas: 7,230 participants). By continuing this training, we will endeavor to ensure rigorous compliance.
Thorough Prohibition of Bribery
In response to the Unfair Competition Prevention Law (crime of bribing foreign public officials) in Japan, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the United States, and the Bribery Act 2010 in the United Kingdom, in January 2014 we further developed our basic policy and guidelines on the prohibition of bribery and rigorously informed Group employees about them.
To maintain and promote compliance, the Company has established the Compliance Committee, which convenes twice yearly. The president chairs the committee, whose members consider compliance measures.
Also, we have set September as the NYK Group’s compliance-strengthening month. Accordingly, we conduct comprehensive compliance check-up activities during this period. In fiscal 2015, in addition to our existing focus on prevention, we emphasised early finding of irregularities. We urged each employee to review their actions, understand the rules that various stakeholders in society expect employees to follow, and check whether colleagues are mixing business and personal matters.
A questionnaire conducted during our compliance-strengthening month asked employees to check themselves with respect to the Code of Conduct. In addition, we conducted an anonymous questionnaire aimed at finding the seeds of violations in workplaces early. We are revising our compliance measures based on the results, which we have posted on the in-house intranet.
We are developing an open corporate culture that promptly collects information helpful for the prevention of corruption and rectifies it immediately by making effective use of the helplines established in Japan and overseas, such as the Yusen Chat Room* in Japan.
- * Yusen Chat Room
- This system comprises six personnel, including an outside lawyer, who receive whistle-blower reports and provide consultation on a wide range of compliance related matters. This system covers NYK and 60 domestic Group companies.
Compliance Training Sessions in Fiscal 2015
|Number of sessions||Number of attendees|
|Group training sessions*||11||538|
The NYK Group’s Compliance System
Main Measures Aimed at Strengthening Compliance