Continuously Holding Compliance Training at Overseas Group Companies

Continuously Holding Compliance Training at Overseas Group Companies

Explanatory material in Thai language

Explanatory material in Thai language

KOKUYO-IK (Thailand) Co., Ltd., which manufactures stationery products in Thailand, has continued to hold annual compliance trainings since 2013 with the goal of enhancing its employees' compliance awareness. To ensure that every employee fully understands the importance of compliance, all employees, including directors and managers, attend this training. In the training session held on January 5, 2017, the participants together read out loud the KOKUYO Group Code of Conduct, which applies to all companies within the KOKUYO Group, to reconfirm the code, therefore making the training session an important platform for reaffirming the significance of compliance. For KOKUYO-IK (Thailand), which operates 24 hours a day, this training session is also an extremely important opportunity for all employees (approximately 270 people) to gather together. Utilizing this opportunity, all employees enhanced their awareness as members of the KOKUYO Group by, for example, reciting together the KOKUYO Creed (Thai language version), in which the KOKUYO founder Zentaro Kuroda clearly stated his own management philosophy.

For companies planning to expand overseas business, the management structure in their overseas group companies is a major issue, and the development and propagation of compliance awareness in particular has become important. In order to continue complying with laws and regulations and carrying out business activities in accordance with social ethics, the KOKUYO Group plans to actively carry out training to promote compliance that is consistent with the local situation at its overseas sites.

Basic Concepts

Corporate Governance Structure

With the aim of ensuring the reproducibility and continuity of transparent, apt, and efficient business administration, we established a structure for corporate governance. In order to ensure that business and operations are carried out without improprieties, without mistakes, and efficiently, we developed and are operating a system of internal control that we are striving to improve and enhance on an ongoing basis. Headed by various board members, key committees linked to internal control appoint members from among multiple related sections and endeavor to systematically promote and fortify responses to important issues concerning CSR on a group-wide basis.

Corporate Governance Structure

Board of Directors, Audit & Supervisory Board Members, and Managing Officers

KOKUYO's Basic Policy of Intellectual Property Rights

As one of the strategies to differentiate ourselves from competitors, the KOKUYO Group promotes the following initiatives to encourage the acquisition of intellectual property rights, and at the same time, to respect intellectual property rights of others:

1) Management and Operational Structure of Intellectual Property Rights

The KOKUYO Group aims to standardize and centralize utilization and strategies for intellectual property rights by controlling operations related to the intellectual property rights of subsidiaries and affiliated companies in Japan and overseas centrally within the intellectual property rights group of the legal department.

The group monitors the products of our competitors on a daily basis for the acquisition of rights in inventions, design, and trademarks; as well as executing thorough preliminary surveys to prevent a violation of the intellectual property rights of others; and protecting our intellectual property rights. In addition, in cases where there is a conflict with competitors, the group corresponds to such a situation through cooperation with the management by taking a rapid and optimal approach for resolution.

2) Protection and Legal Compliance of Intellectual Property Rights

The KOKUYO Group Code of Conduct stipulates that we respect the intellectual property rights of others while the intellectual property group establishes and operates the system for research, analysis, and close investigation to prevent and avoid the violation of rights held by others.

3) Promotion of Creation and Utilization of Intellectual Property Rights

The intellectual property group and development division work closely from the early stage of development to increase the superiority of the products in the market and focus on creating and discovering inventions that contribute to differentiation from competitors' products. We also aim to adhere to Sec. 33 of the Patents Act and establish an incentive system for employee invention as an internal rule, in the aim of increasing customer satisfaction and encourage inventions that strengthen the Group's development.

Operation of a Whistle-blower System, KOKUYO Group Hotline

The KOKUYO Group Hotline is a hotline where employees can seek advice on problems related to compliance and corporate ethics that are difficult to counsel and resolve within the workplace. It is a global system that can be used not only by employees in Japan but also by the employees of the KOKUYO Group at overseas offices.

Commencement of Group-wide Risk Management Promotion

The KOKUYO Group took the opportunity of the integration in 2015 to establish an organization and start taking steps to promote risk management.

The aim of this activity is to establish a risk management circle from the Group's point of view. First, we started with recognizing what kind of risk exists in the entire KOKUYO Group, and considered policy of prioritization and measures from a perspective of what is best for the Group as a whole, and then promoted it.

We will clarify the particularly important themes or themes related to the entire organization, and aim to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of risk management by advancing the activity across the entire Group.

Formulation and Implementation of Business Continuity Planning (BCP*)

Business Continuity Planning (BCP) defines action plans to continue business operations to the best of our ability after the occurrence of unforeseen circumstances, such as disasters and accidents, as well as action plans to recover and résumé business in as little time as possible where interruption is unavoidable.

In order to product supply with greater stability even in critical times such as disaster or outbreak of infectious disease, KOKUYO Group is thorough in its Group-uniting crisis management and will continue to promote continuous business management.

*BCP (Business Continuity Planning)

BCP and Emergency-Handling Training by the Furniture Business Division

Participants, who were divided into teams according to function, discussed whether executing the specified action procedures would handle the potential crisis scenarios that they had been assigned.

Participants, who were divided into teams according to function, discussed whether executing the specified action procedures would handle the potential crisis scenarios that they had been assigned.

Because KOKUYO's response structure and action procedures did not function fully following the Great East Japan Earthquake, they were completely revised and training was held to verify the details of the revision. The BCP and Emergency-Handling Training was held by the Furniture Business Division on December 6, 2017. The training assumed that a Tonankai Earthquake had occurred, severely affecting the abilities of businesses in western Japan to continue operating. The intent of the training was to validate the effectiveness of the early response if the furniture business' continuity emergency headquarters were set up in the Shinagawa SST Office. The training turned out to be a large-scale event, with a total of 73 employees participating in Tokyo and western Japan. We will develop solutions for the issues identified during the training, and reexamine our response structure and action procedure in order to make them more effective.

Early Response Measures during Disasters

Survival cards (left) and emergency action plans for employees (right)

Survival cards (left) and emergency action plans for employees (right)

To ensure that all employees can restore calm behavior in the event of large-scale disaster, we distributed survival cards that list procedures to be followed during times of disaster and ask that all employees carry the cards with them at all times.

The survival card provides three rules to follow during disasters - (1) to ensure one's personal safety, (2) to remain calm, and (3) to report one's own condition - as well as information about how to browse disaster message boards offered by cell phone companies and an information section for identification in case of unexpected circumstances.

In addition, the emergency action plans for employees that provide a full detail of the survival card are posted on the intranet to raise awareness of measures for disasters.

Creation of a Safety Confirmation System and Implementation of Practice

To quickly confirm the safety of Group employees in times of disasters, in 2006, we set up a safety confirmation system using cell phones, PCs, fixed line telephones and other means of employee communication. Immediately after the earthquake in March 2011, it was temporarily impossible to use telephones and e-mail. At present, however, there is no other alternative systems available to confirm the safety of a large number of employees at the same time. For the time being, we will continue to require all employees to register their cell phones and other contact addresses, and make sure that all employees receive notification and that contact information is kept up to date and in a usable state.

Implementation of Emergency Drills at Business Locations

An emergency drill held at the Osaka Headquarters

An emergency drill held at the Osaka Headquarters

To ensure that all employees take safety precautions on their own in an emergency, along with regular countermeasures for earthquakes, we are conducting periodic training and drills simulating a large-scale earthquake on weekdays.

The Osaka Headquarters and the Shinagawa Office holds an evacuation drill simulating the situation after receiving an early earthquake warning. Actions for maintaining safety by taking cover under desks were implemented. Based on the scenario of an office fire following an earthquake, full emergency training is being offered, beginning with immediate firefighting and simultaneous reporting to the fire department and disaster center, through to evacuation after abandoning firefighting efforts.

The KOKUYO Group will continue to increase Group-wide crisis-response capability in the future.