Japan Researcher & Representative

Closing date:

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is seeking a highly-motivated person to be its Japan Researcher & Representative.

  • Location: Japan (must already have work authorization)
  • Salary: £20,000-21,000 per year (JPY 3,076,200-3,230,010) – commensurate with experience
  • Contract type: 2.5 days per week (17.5 hours per week), contractor status
  • Closing date: 1 April 2022 at 23:59:59
  • Interview dates: 5-7 April 2022

About Us

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is an international human rights organization working to ensure that respect for human rights is at the core of companies’ business models; support communities and workers to secure their rights; advance accountability for corporate human rights abuse; and advocate to governments to create strong, enforceable regulation to facilitate these outcomes. Our Global Team of more than 70 people is based in over 15 countries around the world who work with a rich network of activists, unions, and human rights groups, with our website and publications available in ten languages. We work across all sectors and issues related to business and human rights, with a particular focus on the rights of workers in global supply chains, the rights of communities seeking responsible natural resource use and a just transition, and the rights of people to accountable digital technologies.

Job Purpose

To promote greater transparency and accountability for companies’ human rights impacts (both positive and negative) in Japan and Japanese companies operating overseas, and to empower others to act, by:

Building Transparency: Collecting and publishing information from a wide range of sources on our multilingual website (available in 10 languages – including English & Japanese) and in our Weekly Update and Japanese Monthly newsletters, to bring attention to concerns related to human rights impacts as well as positive steps by business. Communicating on issues related to business’ responsibility on social and environmental issues in the region through blog posts, media articles, and briefing notes.

Promoting accountability: Seeking public responses from companies to concerns of misconduct. The Resource Centre has approached companies over 7,000 times for responses to allegations, with a response rate of over 70% from Japanese firms.

Empowering advocates: By ensuring that organizations, companies, and governments throughout the region are aware of how to use the Resource Centre to obtain the information and guidance they need, and to channel their concerns to an influential audience. This will be achieved through effective representation, online and in-person networking.


  1. Company responses: Invite Japanese companies to respond to concerns raised by civil society about their conduct, so that the allegations and their responses can be included on our website and in our Weekly Updates, sent to over 20,000 people worldwide.
  2. Developing contacts and representing the organisation: Build contacts, in Japan, with a broad range of people working on relevant issues in NGOs/civil society/trade unions, donors, companies & business organisations, media, development agencies, investment firms, universities, governments, etc. Introduce the Resource Centre and the website; invite contacts to send information & reports that could be added to the website or Weekly Update. Distribute relevant Resource Centre bulletins and briefings to contacts. Represent the Resource Centre at meetings & conferences. Update contacts database for Japan.
  3. Hosting of webinars: To organise and speak at our monthly online briefings sessions and topic-specific webinars targeting our Japanese audience, aimed at facilitating engagements and dissemination of materials relevant to business & human rights in Japan. Participants of these webinars come from diverse backgrounds, such as companies, academia, UN agencies, and consulting firms.
  4. Writing of materials: When necessary, produce materials in Japanese or English for the Resource Centre’s website and external outreach, such as blog posts, briefing notes, or articles.
  5. Organisational strategy and funder engagements: Review the Resource Centre’s strategy and programme proposal(s) for Japan, and explore potentials with new and existing funding sources.
  6. Management of Japanese research assistant and providing support for adding Japanese content on the Resource Centre’s website and newsletter: Manage and support Japanese-speaking research assistant’s work on online research, inputting of information to the website, translation of materials into Japanese, and development of Japanese website.

Person Specification

Values: Strong, demonstrated commitment to human rights. Commitment to advancing social & environmental commitment from the business sector. Shares values and ethos of the Resource Centre.

Experience: 3-5 years’ work in the field of social responsibility, labour rights, development, environment or social justice – preferably on Japan and Asia.

Research & analytical skills: Able to search and identify relevant information online; persistent in seeking out difficult-to-find information; creative in identifying new sources of information.

Representation skills: Able to represent the organization in the region, including at meetings, conferences, and on regional missions.

Outreach and networking: Able to foster productive, professional relationships with a broad range of contacts, including advocates, company representatives, and government officials.

Languages: Fluent Japanese, and strong English skills (reading, writing, speaking)

Communications: Strong writing skills, including succinct writing for the website and other external facing products.

Team work: Able to operate effectively and constructively as part of a global team, and ensure smooth communication despite geographical distances between team members.

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is a diverse, global team. We are committed to providing equal opportunities for everyone regardless of their background and we acknowledge that people from certain backgrounds are under-represented in progressive movements. We particularly encourage applications from ethnic minorities, candidates that identify as indigenous, people with disabilities, social or economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and people who identify as LGBTQ+.

Self-initiative and motivation: Able to use own initiative and work independently within agreed framework; motivated by achieving results and completing tasks.

Organization and prioritisation: Strong organizational and prioritization skills, enabling efficient and effective work.

*Applicants must have the right to work in Japan

Terms and Conditions

Note that this is a part-time consultancy position. The consultancy contract will be a twelve-month contract, which can be extended by mutual agreement.

Payment will be made on the researcher’s presentation of a monthly invoice showing the number of hours worked. The researcher will be responsible for paying from the fees his/her own taxes, health insurance, pension, etc., and those costs are taken into account in calculating the fees. The Resource Centre will reimburse necessary work-related expenses such as for travel.

The Researcher will be expected to work 2.5 days (17.5 hours) per week. The hours worked are flexible, provided that there are effective communications with team members in other regions, and that the hours are spread reasonably throughout a week.

Reports to: East Asia Senior Researcher & Representative, based in Hong Kong.

The Researcher will have the freedom to organise paid days off from doing consulting work for the Resource Centre, in an amount expected to be 12 days during the year (84 hours) – i.e., equivalent to 24 days per year for full-time work. The Researcher will not be expected to work on public holidays of Japan.

How to apply

To apply: Please go to our career site. Once there, download and complete this application form , click apply now and upload the completed application. Kindly note that the application form is required; we will not accept CVs. If you need any additional support, please reach out to Giulia Vinzi at vinzi@business-humanrights.org

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