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  • Human Rights Watch

Japan Could Improve Car Industry with New Rights Guidelines

October 11, 2022

[Image Source: © The Yomiuri Shimbun/AP Images]

Cited article by Jim Wormington, Human Rights Watch

HRRC encourages Japanese companies to comply with the new guidelines implemented. While adopting more energy efficient vehicles is important to address climate change, the process of building these vehicles can be considerably harmful both for the environment and human rights.

Article Summary

Japan's new legal guidelines on business and human rights could accelerate the Japanese car industry to address their supply chain concerns. The gradual switch to electric vehicles could also reduce the country's carbon footprint. While electric vehicles cause less of a climate impact than gas vehicles, the materials required to build them pose global human rights and additional environmental concerns.

To produce aluminum, supply chains rely on bauxite mining which has pushed impoverished farmers off of their land in Guinea and destroyed water sources. Additionally, the production of aluminum relies heavily on coal mining. While these new guidelines are non-binding and can be improved upon, they do highlight that Japanese companies should examine their supply chains for human rights abuses and work to correct them.


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