Enhancing Quality Compliance

Basic Concept for Compliance

In FY 2018, the CITIZEN Group established the Quality Compliance Committee in order continually to provide products and services that fully reflect consideration for safety, peace of mind, quality, and the environment. With membership consisting of the officers responsible for quality at each Group company, this committee strives to ensure the spread of compliance related to quality and to improve the efficacy of internal whistleblowing systems.

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Compliance Training and Internal Audit

Employee Training

To ensure that all members of the CITIZEN Group have a shared understanding of compliance, we conduct periodic training, education, and auditing concerning subjects, such as the CITIZEN Group Code of Conduct and the CITIZEN Group Quality Code of Conduct, as we strive to raise awareness of quality compliance Group-wide.

FY 2019 training results

Training Content Participants (subjects)
Compliance Training
  • Improving understanding of the Group Quality Code of Conduct
  • Raising awareness of the Compliance Hotline
551 persons
(Six newly appointed Group officers, 101 new Group employees, and 444 persons from CITIZEN ELECTRONICS)
Harassment Seminar
  • Training on various types of harassment
211 persons
(104 persons from CITIZEN WATCH MANUFACTURING, two persons from TOKYO BIJUTSU, and 105 persons from CITIZEN RETAIL PLANNING)

Anti-Corruption Initiatives

Article 3 of the CITIZEN Group Code of Conduct calls for the Group to "engage in business practices that are fair, transparent, open to competition, and responsible." In addition, "Anti-Corruption" is one of the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact in which we have participated since April 2005. In light of these factors, in April 2020, we formulated the CITIZEN Group Anticorruption Policy. Since April 2017, the Group has established and deployed rules on anticorruption. In addition, the CITIZEN Group Subcontracting Transaction Normalization Committee also takes action to raise awareness of matters, such as anti-corruption, fair transactions, and compliance with the Act against Delay in Payment of Subcontract Proceeds Etc. to Subcontractors through training, education, and e-learning at facilities in Japan and around the world.
The CITIZEN Group strives to realize “business practices that are fair, transparent, open to competition, and responsible” through ascertaining trends in society and conditions inside the Group and revising related initiatives as necessary

The Compliance Hotline, an Internal Whistleblowing System

To comply with laws and regulations and to prevent, quickly identify, and eliminate improper acts,* including bribery and corruption, the CITIZEN Group has established internal whistleblowing systems, incorporating the Speak Up system, to enable any Group employees to submit reports, request consultation, and make suggestions anonymously to CITIZEN WATCH, other Group companies, and external agencies respectively. In FY 2019, we conducted a survey on awareness of the Compliance Hotline. We also strived to raise awareness of the program among employees through means, including training for officers and employees, special features in internal bulletins, and updating the specialized intranet page. Furthermore, we established the new Group Compliance Hotline Rules in reference to the internal whistleblowing guidelines established by the Consumer Affairs Agency and to the Corporate Governance Code covering matters, such as protection of user confidentiality and prohibition of disadvantageous treatment, and we formed guidelines for users and managers as part of continual efforts to make the system easier to use through standardization of the responses of those receiving calls. We are aiming to make this system even more effective through proactively communicating information on the way it protects whistleblowers, such as the fact that it is an anonymous system. The number of whistleblowing reports in FY 2019 was 29, consisting of 18 received internally and 11 received by external contact points.
*Our approach to prevention of improper acts is established in Article 3 of the CITIZEN Group Code of Conduct, which calls for the Group to "engage in business practices that are fair, transparent, open to competition, and responsible" (fairness, transparency, openness to competition, responding to government agencies etc., export/import controls, prohibition of contact with antisocial forces, prevention of money laundering, responsible and sustainable procurement).

Intellectual Property Strategy

Intellectual Property-Related Activities

The CITIZEN Group respects the intellectual property rights of other companies and makes efforts so as not to infringe upon them. To this end, we implement constant monitoring of our own activities from the product planning phase to marketing. If there is an intellectual property right belonging to another party that may constitute a barrier, we take immediate measures to avoid infringement.
Moreover, we acquire intellectual property rights for our proprietary core technologies and peripheral technologies, and work to establish barriers to deter entry by our competitors. At the same time, we take strict measures to counter infringement by third parties.
The CITIZEN Group, in line with the intent of the intellectual property rights system, continues to promote appropriate and effective intellectual property activities.

Security Trade Controls

The CITIZEN Group has established the “CITIZEN Group Rules for Security Trade Control” to provide reliable and secure trade management within the Group. We have also established “the CITIZEN Group Security Trade Control Committee,” comprising CITIZEN WATCH and operating subsidiaries. This committee provides guidance, education, and information to Group companies and carries out audits.

Measures by CITIZEN MACHINERY

CITIZEN MACHINERY, takes measures to prevent improper export of industrial machineries and their improper resale or re-export overseas in order to ensure compliance with “the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Law.” We has continued to reinforce export controls by preventing the improper use of industrial machineries with measures such as the installation of relocation detection functions as a standard feature on all products to render equipment inoperable in the event of unauthorized relocation.

Information Security

The CITIZEN Group has established the Group Information Governance Committee to further strengthen a mechanism for promoting all activities regarding the protection of personal information, trade secrets management and information security management. Under the new system, we continue to formulate, deploy and provide training on the information security policy.
With the advancement of information technology, information and IT systems are used in diverse settings. In parallel with this, problems associated with information security have been on the increase, including the divulging of information and system halts caused by cyberattacks. The group therefore continues to upgrade employee education on information security, while ensuring that overseas sites also foster greater understanding of information security through closer cooperation.
For our actual information system environment, the use of a data center and cloud services strengthens our information system against both small- and large-scale incidents, creating a safe and reliable IT infrastructure that also contributes to reductions in energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Continued Acquisition of PrivacyMark

TOKYO BIJUTSU, a publisher of art and other books, acquired the right to use the PrivacyMark* in 2007 with a view to protecting personal information and raising the confidence level of clients. We renewed the PrivacyMark certification in March 2019 for the sixth time. Education concerning the protection of personal information is periodically conducted for all employees including part-timers, and the results of tests used to confirm the effects of the training indicate that a strong awareness concerning the protection of personal information has spread among the workforce. We are committed to bolstering information security including the handling of confidential information in the future.

* PrivacyMark
The PrivacyMark System assesses private enterprises that maintain systems for the appropriate handling of personal information, and grants use of the PrivacyMark to those that meet certain standards

Handling Anti-Social Forces

The CITIZEN Group recognizes that connections to anti-social forces significantly impairs social credibility‘ in the Group and has a grave impact on the survival. Therefore, our fundamental policy is to take a firm stand against demands for unjust favors or the like from anti-social forces and organizations, and without exception to refrain from any relationships with anti-social forces.
In addition, we maintain and reinforce systems that block relations with anti-social forces through actions such as promoting the adoption of an article regarding the exclusion of organized crime groups in the various contracts into which Group companies enter. Furthermore, we, in a regular basis, partner with external organizations such as the police and regional companies to promote activities to eradicate anti-social forces.