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Human Rights, the Environment, and Economic Security: New Trends in International Trade Regulations and Corporate Strategies

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Human Rights, the Environment, and Economic Security: New Trends in International Trade Regulations and Corporate Strategies

Kazuho Nakajima, Noriko Yodogawa, Kojiro Fujii, Masahiro Heike, Shimpei Ishido, Yuki Sakurada, Yumiko Inaoka, Masaki Kawasaki, Hibiki Kimura, Shunya Muromachi, Taku Nemoto, Hanako Ohwada, Sakuya Sato, Yuki Tashiro, Junko Watanabe and Kazuki Yoshi co-authored a book entitled "Human Rights, the Environment, and Economic Security: New Trends in International Trade Regulations and Corporate Strategies," published by Shojihomu Co., Ltd.

Part I: Human Rights, the Environment and Trade Regulations
 Chapter 1: Human Rights Issues and Trade Regulations
 Chapter 2: Practicing Human Rights Due Diligence
 Chapter 3: Environmental Issues and Trade Regulations
 Chapter 4: Human Rights, Environmental Protection, and International Investment Policy: Recent Developments in Investment Related Agreements

Part 2: Economic Security Legislation in the U.S., Europe, and Japan
 Chapter 5: Economic Security Legislation in the United States
 Chapter 6: Economic Security Legislation in Europe
 Chapter 7: Japanese Economic Security Legislation

Part 3: Trade Regulation and Corporate Strategy
 Chapter 8: Developments in Trade Regulation and Corporate Strategies Concerning Human Rights, the Environment and Economic Security
 Chapter 9: [Roundtable Discussion] Human Rights, the Environment, Economic Security and Corporate Strategy

Authors

中島 和穂

He has extensive experience handling cases involving complex legal issues, such as mergers and acquisitions by a public-private investment fund in the context of a business turnaround, a high-value dispute between a securities company and a stock exchange, adoption of anti-takeover defense measures for the first time in Japan, expansion of foreign businesses into the Middle East involving geopolitical risks, and commercial arbitration involving sizable claims regarding M&A price adjustment clauses. Recently, he been advising on risk assessments for transactions, contract drafting, voluntary self-disclosure to government authorities, responses to enforcement actions by the authorities, and establishment of internal control systems with respect to economic security regulations. In particular, he engages in numerous transactions involving economic sanctions, export controls and other economic security regulations regarding conflicts between the US and China over technology competition and human rights issues in Myanmar, Iran and Russia.

淀川 詔子

Noriko advises various types of clients, from the public and private sectors, in the field of international trade law. Noriko’s strength when advising clients is her ability to maintain an overarching view while duly paying attention to details specific to the case and client. These multifaceted perspectives are based on her experience working for and with various stakeholders in the field.

In particular, Noriko worked in the Appellate Body Secretariat within the WTO (World Trade Organization) Secretariat. The WTO agreements provide the fundamental rules for international trade, and the Appellate Body engages in the dispute settlement proceedings between WTO Members regarding those agreements.

Subsequently, Noriko worked as Legal Counsel to the Energy Charter Secretariat. The Energy Charter Secretariat, located in Brussels, is the secretariat of the Energy Charter Treaty, which is a multilateral trade and investment agreement in the field of energy.

In addition, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Noriko actively participated in the negotiations of multiple EPAs (economic partnership agreements – how the Japanese Government describes comprehensive FTAs (free trade agreements)).

Furthermore, Noriko worked as in-house counsel at the largest steelmaking company in Japan, and in particular, participated in anti-dumping and safeguard investigations conducted by foreign authorities, from the perspective of an exporter.

At N&A, Noriko continues to assist clients in anti-dumping and safeguard investigations abroad. She also frequently advises various clients in relation to the WTO agreements (including involvement in WTO dispute settlement proceedings) and EPAs, as well as relevant domestic laws (such as those on export control, rules of origin and customs classifications).

藤井 康次郎

With regard to competition laws, he advises clients on various matters of competition law for both domestic and international cases. He has represented clients with many important international cartel cases, including auto-parts, TFT-LCD, air cargo and high voltage power cables. He also handled significant merger cases in various industries, such as nuclear, security exchanges, local banks, steel and metals, food and agriculture, airlines, paper and natural resources. His practice also covers private monopolization, unilateral conduct and unfair trade practices, including vertical restraints and abuse of superior bargaining position, including platform business and internet industries. He also has been very active in the field of international trade matters. He is one of few lawyers in Japan who acted on behalf of various industries with regard to anti-dumping (AD) and counter-vailing duties (CVD) in Japan and overseas. While he served as deputy director of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, he handled several important WTO disputes on behalf of Japanese government. He continues to advice both public and private sectors with regard to various sorts of trade law matters associated with WTO, investment treaties and Regional Trade Agreements. His trade expertise also covers export controls, investment screenings, economic sanctions and customs matters.

平家 正博

Masahiro Heike specializes in international trade law. From 2016 to 2018, he worked at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as an in-government lawyer, and handled numerous WTO disputes and trade negotiations and was responsible for the trade policies of other jurisdictions including the United States and China. Currently, he is involved in a wide range of matters including WTO dispute settlement cases, domestic and foreign trade remedy cases (anti-dumping, safeguards), government research related to international trade law, and the handling of tariffs and origin relations.

Shimpei Ishido has been active in the field of international trade matters and international investment disputes for many years. He advises and represents governments and major corporations with regard to investment arbitration under ICSID, ICC, and UNCITRAL arbitration rules. He currently serves as a member of the Japanese delegation to UNCITRAL Working Group III (Investor–State Dispute Settlement Reform). He also advises the government and corporations regarding anti-dumping and countervailing measures and WTO dispute settlements proceedings concerning such trade remedy measures.

In addition, he usually provides his clients with general advice on a variety of international law issues, including investment protection, economic sanctions, government procurement, trade in services, e-commerce, sovereign and diplomatic immunities, law of the sea, and space law. His client engagement in these fields of international law includes:
i) capacity-building training on international investment law and trade in services to government officials of various states in the Asia-Pacific Region and Central Asia;
ii) advice on government procurement procedures covered by GPA and FTA/EPAs;
iii) advice on sovereign or diplomatic immunities issues concerning contracts between a foreign government/international organisation and a private entity;
iv) advice on international law issues arising from private entities' exploration of space resources on the Moon and other celestial bodies.

Before joining Nishimura & Asahi, he led, as legal counsel to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the negotiation of Japan’s international investment agreements, including the investment and trade in services chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Japan–EU EPA, the ASEAN–Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the Japan–Australia EPA, the Japan-Mongolia EPA, and the Japan–Mozambique BIT.

He received an LLM in international law from University College London.

桜田 雄紀

He served as Director for Foreign Direct Investment Issues at the Ministry of Finance of Japan for three years from 2019 to 2022. During his tenure, he was the chief architect and strategist of the amendment of the FEFTA in 2020, where the threshold for prior mandatory notification for the acquisition of listed company shares by foreign investors was lowered from 10% to 1%. After the enactment of the amendment, he was in charge of reviewing the scope of designated business for the mandatory notification (addition of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment for communicable diseases, and critical mineral resource-related industries), strengthening the operation of screening and post-transaction monitoring, and strengthening cooperation in investment screening with relevant authorities of like-minded countries, including CFIUS of the U.S. He was also engaged in the planning and drafting of the revision of the FEFTA in 2022 (related to crypto assets) and the prohibition of new investment in Russia in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He is the co-author of a section-by-section commentary on FDI screening under the FEFTA (“Sho-kai Gaitame-hou, Inward Direct Investment and Specified Acquisition Edition” (Shoji Homu, June 2021). He was also a speaker at webinars on FDI screening for government officials of member countries organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

May 2021 – Webinar on Transparency, Predictability and Accountability for investment screening mechanisms
May 2022 – Regulatory proportionality of investment screening mechanisms

渡邉 純子

Based on her experience working on a wide range of domestic and international corporate matters including various matters in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries for more than seven years and overseas study and business experience in the UK for three years, she has been engaged in supporting Japanese companies in dealing with sustainability issues, while collaborating in various legal fields and jurisdictions including M&A, labour issues, European law and Asian law. She also has a strong ability to work with various stakeholders based on her experience working as an external collaborator for the International Labor Organization (ILO). She also advises Japanese companies in the area of Business and Human Rights.
She was also the lead in the development of the "Guideline for Responsible Business Conduct for the Textile and Clothing Industry of Japan" for human rights due diligence in the textile and apparel industry, which was formulated by the Japan Textile Federation in July 2022, as an external collaborator for the International Labor Organization (ILO).
In addition to serving as a member of various government study groups on human rights and environmental issues and as a member of the sustainability advisory board of a Japanese listed company, she has accepted numerous requests to be an instructor for in-house training, including executive training, and participated as a presenter in various seminars.
- Managing member of the Business and Human Rights Lawyers Network in Japan
- A member of the Advisory Mediation Committee of the Japan Center for Engagement and Remedies on Business and Human Rights (JaCER)
- Senior Advisor at the General Incorporated Association Chubu SDGs Promotion Center
- Business Human Rights (BHR) Committee/Human Rights Law Committee Member at the International Bar Association