ABCJ was invited to give a speech at the Summit for Democracy 2023, which was co-hosted by U.S. and South Korean Governments.
The U.S. and South Korean governments co-hosted the Indo-Pacific Regional Meeting of the Summit for Democracy in Seoul, South Korea on March 30, 2023. The conference highlighted challenges and progree in addressing anti-corruption. ABCJ's officer, Attorney Kengo Nishigaki, accompanied by Prof. Shinya Fujino, was invited to give a speech on ABCJ's initiatives in the Session 2: Non-Governmental Stakeholders in Anti-Corruption.
Kengo Nishigaki, an attorney at law and an officer of the Anti-Bribery Committee Japan (ABCJ), introduced the notable activities of the organization, which is an independent expert group, established by Japanese lawyers and researchers. It drafted and supervised the “Guidance on Prevention of Foreign Bribery”, which was published by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) in July 2016.
The Guidance is to help Japanese companies to establish anti-bribery programs and to investigate bribery allegations. Since its launch in September 2016, the ABCJ has been engaging in various activities for strengthening anti-bribery measures:
Collaboration with UN Global Compact Network Japan re the 10th Principle (Annual Forum)
Visits to Asian countries to meet with anti-corruption enforcement agencies (KPK in Indonesia, NACC in Thailand), conduct trainings for Japanese companies operating in such countries, and listen to “real voice” from them
Assistance to OECD’s audit re implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention for Phase 4 Report (2019)
Further, he distinguished countries with less corruption risks from those with high risks, and emphasized the importance of anti-bribery compliance systems for companies which are headquartered in less corrupt countries like Japan to operate in those with high corruption risks. He drew attention to expat employees who do not have good insight to corruption risks but have to operate businesses in high-risk countries and areas, by using an analogy that soldiers are sent to frontlines without right equipment. As expat employees in their home countries are not accustomed to corrupt environment, they tend to tolerate bribery payments as requested by local public servants when necessary.
Corporations should provide adequate support to such employees such as anti-bribery trainings, anti-bribery rules, and reporting lines to headquarters, so that they will be able to refuse bribery and report bribery risks to the headquarters for support.