Japan is one of the founding members of the International Labour Organization (ILO), when it was established in 1919. As such, it has long established close, lively relationships with the ILO (except for the period from 1940 to 1951 during which it withdrew from the organization).
The ILO opened a branch office in Tokyo in 1923. The ILO Tokyo Branch Office started to report directly to the Director-General in 2001 and was renamed the ILO Office in Japan in 2003.
Japan is the second largest contributor to the regular budget of the ILO. Its share of contributions in 2017 is 9.684 %, the second highest after the United States (22%), with the amount of its contribution reaching 36.68 million Swiss francs. In addition, Japan is a major donor in terms of voluntary contributions for technical cooperation projects. Between 2012 and 2017, Japan contributed about US$31.8 Million to the ILO development cooperation.
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Since the foundation of the ILO, except for one period after readmission to the organization, the Japanese government has been a permanent member of the ILO Governing Body as a state of chief industrial importance. Currently, Mr. Hiroshi MATSUI, Senior Advisor, International Cooperation Bureau, Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), and Ms. Akiko GONO, Advisor on International Affairs at Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO), are elected as Employer and Worker members, respectively. It is not common to have members from the same country in all three groups of the Governing Body.
So far, Japan has ratified a total of 49 ILO Conventions. The most recent one is the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, which was ratified in August 2013.