It’s time for Japanese companies to exercise corporate social responsibility by taking extraordinary measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak in this country.

As a part-time instructor working at more than one institute, I have suggested that my employers request their employees and customers not to come to work or class if they have any cold-like symptoms.

Moreover, I have suggested that they request their employees and customers to act cautiously in a responsible manner if they have such symptoms after visiting any city in or outside Japan where human-to-human transmission of the virus has been reported. I have also suggested them to treat the matter in terms of corporate social responsibility. Their responses so far have varied.

Japanese companies should take this opportunity to reconsider what corporate social responsibility is about. Unlike what many of them state in corporate social responsibility sections on their websites, corporate social responsibility is not just about saving the environment by planting trees, etc.

If they are serious about doing something good for society and improving customer and employee satisfaction, they should prioritize preventing the spread of the virus over seeking short-term profit or interest. By doing so, they could improve their corporate values in a different way and for the long term.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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