Brief History 7

VII. Towards the 100th Anniversary of the ILO’s Establishment (2012- )

ILO Director-General: Mr. Guy Ryder (2012- )

In May 2013, during his first official visit to Japan, Mr. Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, inspected the Public Employment Security Office in Iidabashi, Tokyo.

In April 2012, Mr. HASEGAWA was replaced by Ms. Keiko KAMIOKA, ILO Deputy Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific responsible for Management and Administration, as Director of the ILO Office for Japan. In May 2013, Mr. Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, officially visited Japan for the first time after his inauguration on October 1, 2012. In addition to paying a courtesy call on leaders of the government as well as workers’ and employers’ organizations, on May 16 he gave a keynote lecture at the international symposium “Development of Global Economy and the Role of ILO - Global Coordination towards Realizing Decent Work for All and the Role of Japan,” which was organized jointly by the ILO Office for Japan, the Japanese Parliamentarians’ League on ILO Activities, and the Japan Association for Advancement of ILO Activities to commemorate his visit to Japan.

In November 2012, Mr. José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, Executive Director for Employment at the ILO, gave a lecture entitled “Deteriorating labour in the world: trying to write out ‘prescriptions’ (solutions for the problem)” in Osaka and one entitled “Global Labour Market and Youth Employment” in Tokyo.

In June 2013, Mr. Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, Deputy Director-General for Field Operations and Partnerships, ILO, visited Japan to attend the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) held in Yokohama as an invited guest. In addition to the plenary session, Mr. Houngbo participated in a session on security and gave a keynote speech on the importance of ensuring the stability of youth employment at the official side events organized by the Child Labour Network (CL-Net) and UN Volunteers (UNV).

In October 2013, an official ceremony to launch the ILO Knowledge Sharing Network between academic research institutions in Japan and their researchers and the ILO Office for Japan was held. In order to realize decent work, the ILO has constructed and expanded the ILO Knowledge Sharing Network to effectively use as a common asset the information collected on various initiatives for and excellent examples of decent work as well as the results of academic research. As part of this effort, the ILO Office for Japan has also constructed a network in the country to further enhance its ability to communicate such information to the rest of the world. At the event held in conjunction with the launch, Mr. Raymond Torres, Director, International Institute for Labour Studies, ILO, gave a commemorative lecture on the latest employment situation in the world.

In November 2013, the Red Card to Child Labour Kick-off Event was held. This event was organized to launch the Red Card to Child Labour campaign implemented by the ILO on a global scale in Japan, too. At the event, in addition to a talk show by Mr. Tsuyoshi KITAZAWA, a former member of the Japanese national soccer team, the ILO presented its initiatives to cope with child labour by connecting Geneva, Bangkok, and Nairobi through a TV circuit.

On 25 September 2015, the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs), and the significant component of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda was included in Goal 8. 

In February 2016, Ms. Akiko TAGUCHI was inaugurated as Director.  

In May, 2017, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder visited Japan.  It was his second official visit and had meetings with constituents, signed Memorandum of Cooperation with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and consolidated the framework of collaboration with the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020).

In June, at the 106th Session of the ILC (2017), the theme of the DG report was “Work in a changing climate: The Green Initiative”.  Mr. Gaku Hashimoto, State Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare had a speech on Japan’s policy on the climate change.   At the ILC, the election to the Governing Body was held and Ms. Akiko Gono, Advisor on International Affairs at Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO) was elected as a member of the Workers’ group from 2017-20 as successor to Mr. Takaaki Sakurada. 

In April, 2018, ILO and Tokyo 2020 signed” an agreement to promote decent work in the preparations for, and operation of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

At the 107th Session of the ILC, the Conference elected Vice-President Ms. Akiko Gono (Workers) from Japan.  Mr. Hideki Makihara, State Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare attended at the 107th Session of the ILC and had a speech on Japan’s policy on promoting women’s empowerment and work style reform. 

ILO marked a centenary in 2019.  Towards its centenary year, ILO had aimed at gaining better understanding of the changing world of work as well as discussing future policies to be decided by the society.   The ILO Office for Japan organized public relations activities in order to promote the national dialogue towards the future of wok in Japan.

The ILO’s Global Commission’s report on future of work was published in January.  In February, Symposium commemorating the ILO Centenary was co-organized with the MHLW.  Keynote speeches on the human-centred agenda were provided by Ms. Deboarh Greenfield, DDG/P and Dr. Atsushi Seike, a Member of Global Commission and policies for work style reform in Japan were discussed.

"The Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work” was adopted at the 108th session of the International Labour Conference.   Also in June, G20 Osaka Summit 2019 was held and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder visited Japan to attend it.   He said that the Leaders’ Communiqué complemented the Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work that was recently adopted by the ILC.

In August, 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VII ) was held in Yokohama and the ILO delegation headed by Mr. Oumarou (DDG) visited Japan to attend it.   During the session, ILO held a side event: Future of Work High-Level Dialogue Jobs4Youth, and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder and Ms. Olonjuwon, RD ROAF attended.

In September, G20 Labour and Employment ministers meeting was held in Matsuyama, Ehime and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder attended.  He welcomed the Declaration, committing to human-centred future of work policy priorities focused on demographic change, gender equality and women’s empowerment, responding to new forms of work.  Since G20 countries face a rapidly ageing population, the care sector was also an important part of issue at the meeting.

In June 2020, Mr. Shinichi Takasaki was inaugurated as Director, ILO Office for Japan.