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Hitachi, Ltd. formulated the Hitachi Group Codes of Conduct as a common conduct code for the Hitachi Group in fiscal 2010. We issued the Hitachi Group Codes of Conduct Handbook in fiscal 2011 as a guidebook for all employees; as of March 2017, more than 260,000 copies have been distributed to employees in Japan. We ask managers to submit a written pledge to comply with the Hitachi Group Codes of Conduct. To deepen awareness of the codes throughout our global operations, we have produced an e-learning tool in Japanese and nine other languages, such as English and Chinese, showing appropriate behavior and presenting specific examples for use in Hitachi Group companies within and outside Japan.
Based on the Hitachi Group Codes of Conduct, we have expanded the Hitachi Global Compliance Program. To comprehensively implement our compliance framework through this program, we have appointed a senior executive as the head of risk management for the entire Hitachi Group. Every business unit and key Group company also has an executive handling risk management, assisted by a compliance manager. We are also supporting regional Group companies and have appointed compliance heads in 11 regions globally.
Under this system, policies and measures are shared through the Compliance Management Conference, composed of risk management executives from business units and key Group companies. In addition, all compliance managers meet regularly at the Hitachi Group Compliance Conference to provide information on compliance and to confirm implementation of required actions.
The Advisory Committee, consisting of outside experts, convenes regularly to exchange views on the state of compliance initiatives. The insights provided by committee members are utilized to improve policies and actions.
The internal audit section regularly conducts Group-wide reviews to verify that each area of compliance is being appropriately operated. In cases where the reviews identify necessary improvements, corrective measures are swiftly implemented.
Fiscal 2016 saw two incidents in the United States of plea agreements related to cartel activities, and one in Japan of a cease and desist order related to collusion. Hitachi takes these incidents very seriously and will continue strengthening its educational and institutional efforts to fight corruption and promote fair competition.
Hitachi has instituted a Group-wide whistleblowing system to prevent illegal and unethical behavior, to promptly address infractions, and to enhance our ability to self-regulate.
In this system, reports go directly to the Compliance Department at Hitachi, Ltd. or to an outside attorney. This system can be used not only by employees within the Hitachi Group, who are able to report issues through in-house channels, but also by temporary staff and suppliers. In addition, we have implemented the Channel to the Board of Directors system to allow employees to directly report problems anonymously to Hitachi directors. The facts related to all reports are subject to thorough investigation and checking, and people who have identified themselves in the reports are informed of the investigation results. We make every effort to appropriately deal with situations, including taking remedial action where necessary.
To cut off all relationships with organized crime groups and other antisocial forces, we observe the following three provisions laid out in the Hitachi Group Codes of Conduct, and we have established Regulations on Prevention of Antisocial Transactions covering the Group as a whole by adopting the basic policies stipulated in the Codes of Conduct:
The entire Hitachi Group acts decisively to eliminate approaches from antisocial forces in partnership with, where necessary, external specialist institutions (the National Center for the Elimination of Boryokudan or the police). We include antisocial force rejection clauses in contracts so that if it is determined that a business partner belongs to an antisocial group, we can promptly void the contract and break off the relationship.
For basic export control policies, we have adopted the Hitachi Standards of Corporate Conduct, which state: "We shall help maintain international peace and security through compliance with trade-related laws and regulations." We established the Corporate Regulations Concerning Security Export Control based on this policy in 1987. We carry out strict export control practices in line with relevant laws and regulations, screening all goods and technologies intended for export against such factors as destination countries and regions as well as intended end use and end users. We provide guidance and educational support on the formulation of regulations as well as on the establishment of frameworks to Hitachi Group companies in Japan and around the world to ensure that all Group companies follow the same export control policies.
At present, as part of our educational program for all the Group companies, we host workshops on export control in addition to the annual implementation of an e-learning program in Japanese, English, and Chinese. Moving forward, we will continue to make an effort so that export control is thoroughly enforced throughout the Group.
To help us solve social issues through understanding and embodiment of the Hitachi Group Identity, our brand management must engage everyone in the Group. We use channels including our intranet to ensure that Group employees are clearly aware of what needs to be done to express the Group Identity. To promote understanding of the Hitachi Group Identity and the Hitachi brand, we launched the Inspiration of the Year Awards in fiscal 2003 to share activities within Hitachi that have demonstrated the Hitachi Group Identity and made an outstanding contribution to our brand value. In fiscal 2012, we began evaluating applications globally, renaming the program the Inspiration of the Year Global Awards. In fiscal 2016, the awards saw 212 applications from China, Europe/Africa, India, North America, Southeast Asia, and Japan. Outstanding activities from each region were highlighted on the intranet, and the president presented the awards at a ceremony held at our Tokyo headquarters.
To further instill the Hitachi Group Identity and promote understanding of the Hitachi brand among our employees globally, we held brand-training sessions utilizing the Hitachi Brand Book, a straightforward explanation of the Group Identity and Hitachi brand, and the Hitachi Vision Movie, a visual depiction of the Hitachi Group Vision. By raising employee awareness of the Hitachi Group Identity through these activities, we continue to strive to become a company that "delivers innovations that answer society's challenges."