Employment and Benefits

Action Plan

Risks Opportunities
  • Decline in labor productivity, loss of excellent human resources, missed business opportunities, increase in health-related expenses, and other events that would result from failure to take appropriate measures, and others.
  • Improvement of labor productivity and health and motivation, securing of excellent human resources, enhanced capability of responding to changes and business opportunities, and other events that will result from the creation of a workplace that provides job satisfaction, and others.
SDGs Targets Issues to address Co Business area Commitment Specific approach Performance indicators
Improving operating efficiency and addressing the issue of long-working hours through work style reform Headquarters Human Resources Affairs We will promote a well-balanced working style and reduce the total number of working hours, aiming to improve employee engagement.

<ITOCHU Corporation>

  • Promote the morning focused working system.
  • Conduct regular monitoring of employees' work situations.
  • Promote work automation with IT tools, including the robotic process automation (RPA), as well as mobile work.
  • Promote projects for improving the operating efficiency at each organization.

<ITOCHU Group>

  • Efficient way of working, appropriate working hours management, and educational and awareness-raising activities at the ITOCHU Group.
  • FYE 2021: Reduce the annual average overtime hours by at least 10% compared to the period prior to the introduction of the morning-focused working system.
  • FYE 2021: Percentage of employees who leave the office building at 20:00 or later at 5% or fewer.
  • FYE 2021: Paid leave acquisition rate at 70% or higher.
  • Rate of positive responses to the "employee engagement" item in the engagement survey: 70% or higher.

Policy and Basic Concept

In running a global business in a wide range of domains, consolidated group companies join together to operate as the ITOCHU Group. ITOCHU has more than 100,000 consolidated employees as of the end of FYE 2019. ITOCHU is implementing various initiatives that aim to optimize labor standards and create a working environment where our diverse body of employees can reach their full potential. Some of our notable initiatives include: the introduction of a "work style reform" such as through morning shift systems and a transition to casual business clothes, the establishment of various systems to support employees with caring duties, and the promotion of social activities among employees at our recreational facilities.

Structures and Systems

ITOCHU Corporation provides support to its group subsidiaries regardless of their area or field of operation to ensure that a management system is set in place to provide an optimal working environment for employees, at minimum complying with local laws and regulations. More specifically, our group subsidiaries have reporting lines aligning to your individual companies – each division company head office is responsible for following up on necessary measures to support its subsidiaries.

Risk assessment for labor practices in business investments and financing projects

When assessing potential investment and financing projects, in addition to economic aspects, ITOCHU uses an ESG checklist to identify and assess key ESG (environmental, social, governance) concerns relevant to the project, which includes topics related to labor practices – e.g. working conditions, occupational health and safety and stakeholder dialogue. We also monitor the progress and performance of our existing investment and financing projects and take necessary measures to make improvements.
For further details, please refer to the ESG Risk Assessment for New Business Investment Projects.

Ensuring compliance to labor standards

At ITOCHU, it is mandatory for employees upon recruitment to complete training on working conditions, which includes issues related to salary, working hours and holidays, occupational safety and health, benefits, and prohibited actions and behaviors. Additionally, we are taking necessary measures to align the labor standards of our group subsidiaries to that of ITOCHU – these measures aim to elevate the baseline labor standards of our subsidiaries. We also provide our subsidiaries with support regarding the enhancement and optimization of working environments. Our labor standard expectations are published on the intranet in Japanese and English, which are the common working languages of the ITOCHU Group, with aim to facilitate their implementation.

Employee Engagement

ITOCHU Corporation believes that raising the level of motivation, satisfaction and engagement (the degree to which employees with a strong desire to contribute to ITOCHU can capitalize on their own abilities optimally at their own initiative) of employees will improve the corporate value.

In the survey conducted in fiscal 2019, the results exceeded those of the previous survey (conducted in fiscal 2015) especially for the question "ITOCHU shows care and concern for its employees". The positive answers were 10 points higher than the average of Japanese companies that conducted the survey (over 60 large companies). Above all, the level of engagement remained high, which has allowed us to conclude that many employees are proud of working for ITOCHU Corporation and engage in work with strong motivation to contribute to the company and with the aim of achieving better-than-expected results on a voluntary basis.


Promotion of Working-Style Reforms

ITOCHU Corporation believes that employees are its greatest asset, and that the full exertion of each individual employee's capabilities will lead to an improvement in corporate value. Based on this belief, ITOCHU has pursued a range of initiatives to develop environments where all employees can utilize their respective characteristics and concentrate on work at ease. The morning-focused working style, which we introduced in October 2013 as a measure for working-style reforms, has greatly influenced the government and many companies. More than four years after its introduction, it continues to give the results steadily as the core element of the company's working-style reforms. In June 2017 we implemented a "Dress-down day" initiative to as a new approach to our work style reform to establish a non-confining work environment where each and every employee is encouraged to demonstrate their individual strengths. As the leading company in "working-style reforms" and "Health and Productivity Management, ITOCHU will continue to implement a range of initiatives in a pioneering manner to establish an environment where employees find it worthwhile to work for the company.

Working Hours Management / Morning-Focused Work

Not only do we comply with legislation like the 36 Agreement, but we are focusing on work-style reform aimed at reducing total number of hours worked.
ITOCHU has long sought to reduce overtime work from a perspective of managing employee health and promoting effective operations. To achieve a more effective working style, we reconsidered the way of thinking that assumes employee will work overtime and determined that a shift in employee awareness was needed. So in October 2013 we introduced a morning-focused work system intended to help shift work habits from night-focused to morning-focused. This progressive approach has impacted not just the industrial world, but the political and business establishment as well. It has grown into a large movement that is changing the way Japanese people work. More than five years after its introduction, the approach continues to produce steady results and is the core element in our work-style reforms.
ITOCHU believes its efforts as a pioneer in work-style reform will both empower individual employees to change their approach to work, and promote balanced operational reforms. In this way, the Company is striving to achieve a work environment that enhances operational effectiveness, helps maintain and improve employee health, support the activities of employees who face time constraints from raising children or caring for family members in poor health and allows a more diverse set of employees to make full use of their capabilities.

Outline of Initiatives

  • Night work (10 p.m. - 5 a.m.) is prohibited. Working between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. is prohibited in principle. However, work after 8 p.m. may be allowed in special circumstances after prior approval if it is unavoidable.
  • We pay increased wages at the same rate as for night work to encourage employees to work earlier in the morning (5 a.m. - 8 a.m.)(employees subject to time management: 150%; employees not subject to time management: 25%).
  • When an employee starts working at 7:50 a.m. or earlier, the higher wages are applied not just for the hours of 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. but also for 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • We also provide light meals to employees who begin work before 8 a.m. to aid in managing their health.

Morning-Focused Work System Diagram

Providing light meals to employees

Effects of Efforts

  Prior to introduction First year after introduction Five years after introduction
Left bldg. 8:00 p.m. or later

Approx. 30%

Approx. 7%

Approx. 5%

(10:00 p.m. or later)

(Approx. 10%)

(Almost 0)

(Almost 0)

Entered bldg. 8:00 a.m. or before

Approx. 20%

Approx. 34%

Approx. 44%

Hours of overtime per person

Approx. 7% decrease

Approx. 11% decrease

Dress-down Days


Wednesday and Fridays are designated "Dress-down Days," and employees are allowed to dress down even more than they could during the previous Casual Fridays. In lieu of business suits, they can wear what the like as long as it can be considered "work clothes" suitable for business settings. Employees may even wear jeans and sneakers, and are encouraged to wear outfits that express the freedom characteristic of ITOCHU. This program aims to have employees consider how best to dress down with consideration for their relationships with customers and the people around them. This will develop their ability to think flexibly and foster a workplace environment that facilitates the creation of new ideas. The following key measures were implemented in FYE 2018 to increase employee awareness of the program and encourage its spread. We intend to continue to develop similar programs appropriate to each season.

FYE 2018

  • A program in which personal stylists give 10 or so employees a complete makeover and get them to try new styles. The program is conducted three times a year (summer, autumn/winter and spring) in cooperation of Isetan Shinjuku Store of Isetan Mitsukoshi Ltd.
  • Internal company events that invite employees to wear a specific item ("Jeans Day" and "Sneakers Day", etc.) and which involve related events on the same day. These could be sales, lectures by stylists on dressing well, etc. in cooperation with ITOCHU Group/associated companies.

FYE 2019

  • We have established a new permanent concept space called the "D+ Lounge" just for Dress-down Days on the second floor of the Tokyo Headquarters. This space offers events relating to personal appearance every month to refine the power of expression of our employees. These events include personal color diagnoses, stylist consultations, shoe shining, first-class shaving experiences and make-up lectures for working women.

FYE 2020

  • We have established Dress-down Every Day to enable employees to think about what clothes to wear to work in response to the time, place and occasion (TPO) and the weather every day only in the summer (May to September). Every day during this period is a Dress-down Day regardless of the day of the week.
  • Applies to both full-time and part-time employees

Balancing Work with Childcare and Nursing Care

ITOCHU Corporation goes above and beyond the requirements of the law to arrange programs available to both male and female employees that help them balance work with their childcare and nursing care obligations. This allows employees to continue making full use of their skills during their careers at the company, while resting assured they can handle stages of life where they must take care of children or elderly family members at home. Over 50 male employees have been taking childcare leave a year since FYE 2016, so the use of this system has become established. Meanwhile, in FYE 2016 we trialed a telecommuting program for employees raising children or providing nursing care at home. This was followed in FYE 2017 by the official introduction of a telecommuting program which employees who meet certain conditions can take advantage of. Eligible employees include those with time constraints due to childcare or nursing care obligations, as well as those who face difficulty making the commute to work due to pregnancy, illness or other such reasons. We continue to hold nursing care seminars every year in light of the fact the importance of preparing for nursing care has also become a social problem. At the same time, we introduced a service to provide nursing care information online in FYE 2018. We then introduced a one-stop nursing care assistance service to meet the needs of those seeking advice in April 2019.

Support Programs for Balancing Work with Childcare & Nursing Care

Support for Childcare

Support for Nursing Care

Use of Childcare & Nursing Care Programs

(Unit: people)

Use of Childcare & Nursing Care Programs★
  FYE 2017 FYE 2018 FYE 2019
Men Women Total Men Women Total Men Women Total
Childcare Childcare leave










Leave to nurse sick children










Shorter working hours for childcare










Special parental leave










Percentage of employees returning to work*




Nursing Care Nursing care leave










Special nursing care leave










Leave for nursing care










Shorter working hours for nursing care










Family Support Leave










  • The percentage of employees returning to work after childcare leave is calculated according to the following formula:the number of employees returning to work after childcare leave during the current or the following fiscal year/the number of employees who finished taking childcare leave during the current fiscal year.
  • We have re-calculated the past FYE data of the percentage of employees returning to work after childcare leave in FYE 2019, since we revised the calculation method of this indicator.

★Data assured by KPMG AZSA Sustainability Co., Ltd, an external assurance provider based on the international standard ISAE 3000.[PDF]

ITOCHU Kids Day for Visiting Mom & Dad at Work

Children exchange business cards with the President COO

Since 2014, we have regularly invited employees' elementary-age children to ITOCHU Kids Day for Visiting Mom & Dad at Work. The children get business cards made especially for the event, which they exchange with employees at their parents' workplaces. They also attend a mock meeting in the executive meeting room and eat lunch in the employee cafeteria. These activities provide the children with a deeper understanding of the company where their parents work. The response from employees has been very positive for instilling an interest in what the children's parents do at their job and for sparking a desire to work at ITOCHU in the future. As we consider this an incredibly meaningful event for building family bonds and teaching children about ITOCHU, we plan to continue holding it.

Employee Benefits

ITOCHU Corporation employs a variety of welfare facilities and schemes to stimulate communication between employees and provide opportunities for exchange. Stimulating communication helps foster a sense of belonging and job satisfaction in individual employees. It also helps to invigorate the organization as a whole.

Employee Cafeteria

The employee cafeteria at the Tokyo Headquarters underwent large-scale renovations in May 2013 that transformed it into a brighter and a more comfortable meeting place. Since then we have taken further steps to make the cafeteria a more attractive space for employees. These include introducing a Wellness Cafeteria menu created under the supervision of Kagawa Nutrition University* which aims to help employees improve their health. We have also revised our menus and altered the layout of the room based on employee feedback. Nearly 1,600 people use the employee cafeteria every day.
This special cafeteria can also be used to share meals with customers, and operates as a pub at night. It has a regular Happy Hour, during which alcoholic beverages are available for free or at a discount. This boosts communication between people from both inside and outside the company. In 2017, the menu was fully revised and the cafeteria underwent major renovations once again. This has made it a great place for employees to interact over meals.

  • Kagawa Nutrition University is a pioneering force in nutrition education. The menu it helped create focuses on daily specials with healthy dishes that fulfill different nutritional requirements. These include an energy value of around 600 kcal, salt content of 3 g or less, and vegetable servings of 140 g or more.
  • Can be used by both full-time and part-time employees

Cooldown Rooms

In June 2012, ITOCHU Corporation introduced Cooldown Rooms on the first floor and first basement floor of its Tokyo Headquarters. These rooms seek to help beat the summer heat by keeping visitors comfortable inside the building and giving employees a comfortable place to work. To help fight global warming and save electricity in summer when demand for power is high, ITOCHU stipulates that air conditioners in the building not be set lower than 28 degrees Celsius. However, the Cooldown Rooms have lower ceilings than other rooms and can be cooled more efficiently. Cool air is supplied at 15 degrees Celsius to keep room temperature below 20 degrees. This makes them great spaces for visitors to the building and employees returning from sales activities to cool down on hot summer days. In December 2016, we began to make effective use of the Cooldown Rooms in winter as well by raising the temperature settings so that people could use these spaces to warm up. We also established a permanent history exhibition corner called "ITOCHU History" in December 2016. This is so that many people can learn about the founding principles of our company while effectively utilizing the Cooldown Rooms in the winter.

  • Can be used by both full-time and part-time employees

Shower Lounge and Shower Room


In the summer of 2016, ITOCHU installed a shower lounge on the third floor of our Tokyo Headquarters, and a shower room on the second basement floor. Their goal is to help create a workplace environment that encourages job satisfaction. The seeds of this idea were accounts from employees who often found airport shower rooms crowded when returning from business trips on early morning flights. Many reported using external facilities (such as gyms and saunas) on their way to work. In response to this feedback, ITOCHU established shower facilities at Headquarters so that employees returning from business trips can be more comfortable as they begin work. The facilities are equipped with overhead shower heads, which warm the body quickly in winter, and amenities like towels, hair driers, shampoo, and conditioner. A total of 1,100 employees have used the facilities in the two years and 9 months since they opened. The facilities have been well received, with employees reporting they are able to work in comfort. In response to employee requests, the facilities now stay open longer and can also be used by employees who exercise to improve their health. They are also open to employees of affiliate companies.

  • Can be used by both full-time and part-time employees

The Hiyoshi Dormitory

In March 2018, ITOCHU Corporation opened the Hiyoshi Dormitory in the Kohoku ward of Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture. The dormitory has approx. 360 units to house unmarried employees. It brings together unmarried male employees who had been scattered across four locations in the Tokyo Metropolitan area. The design concept for the dormitory is "under the same roof," as opposed to positioning it as a mere welfare facility. Accordingly, it is equipped with a variety of common areas designed to bring residents together and deepen communication across boundaries like age and department. These include a dining room with shared kitchen, a multi-purpose meeting room, a large bathroom with a sauna, and communication spaces on each floor (including study areas and an open terrace).
It also incorporates measures that take into account Health and Productivity Management. The cafeteria provides breakfasts and dinners that take into account a nutritional balance from the viewpoint of policies such as health and productivity management. We have also partnered with a local fitness club to give residents opportunities to exercise. As a rule, smoking is prohibited throughout the dormitory, including private rooms, and is only allowed in designated smoking areas. We also provide a program that utilizes a smartphone app to assist those who wish to quit smoking. Through efforts like these, we hope to create an environment that encourages employees to voluntarily reform their work-style and improve their health.
This dormitory is designed to function as a secondary office for the Tokyo Headquarters and is vital to our business continuity plan (BCP) for disasters. It uses the same Internet environment as our offices and we have installed emergency generator equipment. We have also stocked the dormitory with food, water, emergency supplies and other items.

  • Intended only for full-time employees

"SOGO-KAI" Associations

"SOGO-KAI" associations are groups where fellow employees can assemble to enjoy the same sports or cultural activities. Spreading out from Tokyo and Osaka, there are more than forty such associations active within the company nationwide. They boast a combined membership of more than 800 employees. The associations are not limited to current ITOCHU Corporation employees. Many former employees and Group company employees also take part. These associations use sports and cultural activities to promote exchange and communication across different generations and organizations.

  • Both full-time and part-time employees can join

Employment and Benefits Data

Employee Status★ (as of March 31 for each respective year)

  Non-consolidated Consolidated
Employees Men Women Avg. Age Avg. Annual Salary (Yen) Employees





















Employees by Operating Segment★ (as of March 31, 2019)

(Unit: people)

  Textile Machinery Metals &
Energy &
Food General
Products &
Financial Business
Others Total




















Overseas Bloc Employees by Region★ (as of March 31, 2019)

(Unit: people)

North America Latin America Europe Africa Middle East East Asia Asia & Oceania CIS
National Staff









Rotational Staff









Overseas Trainees











  • Employees assigned to overseas subsidiaries and overseas branches/offices
  • Regarding range of tallied data, figures not labeled as Consolidated are placed under Non-consolidated.
  • Overseas bloc employees by region counts employees who are assigned to overseas subsidiaries or overseas branches/offices.

Turnover — Non-Consolidated Employees*★

  FYE 2016 FYE 2017 FYE 2018 FYE 2019
Voluntary resignation rate





Avg. Years Employed





  • Positions: career-track, clerical, special
    Turnover rate is calculated according to the following formula.
    voluntary resignations ÷ employees at end of fiscal year

ITOCHU Corporation has a long average number of years employed of 17 years and only around 2% of employees voluntarily resign. It is a company where many employees choose to stay for the long-term.

★Data assured by KPMG AZSA Sustainability Co., Ltd, an external assurance provider based on the international standard ISAE 3000.[PDF]