Japan is a land of tradition and likes to adhere to certain immutable rituals. As a good representative of the archipelago, Nintendo has its every year General meeting, the opportunity to give the small (and the large) porters a voice and to bring certain current issues to the fore.
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As in the time of the late Satoru Iwata, the annual meeting offers the opportunity to subject the company’s executives to an often-stoked fire of questions.
This time one of the company’s shareholders used the microphone to challenge him L’enqute du Think Tank ASPI released in 2020, which revealed that Chinese authorities gouged tens of thousands of Uyghurs to work in factories of many brands, including the top three manufacturers in the industry.
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Cook on the subject of that UN Security Council CEO Shuntaro Furukawa tried to smooth things out risk-free, an exercise reserved for professionals:
As a company, we were made aware of the report that Uyghurs were forced to work on our production lines. We have examined the factory identifications and at this time cannot confirm that this is one of our partners. In addition, we were never directly informed that there was any form of forced labor in our entire production chain.
Nintendo has a corporate social responsibility charter and we ask our partners to adhere to it. Otherwise, we can break the contract that binds us to it.
As a good diplomat, Furukawa is obviously careful not to name suspicious companies, as the report called out at the time, and mentions those of Foxconn (you know, who installed nets under his dormitories to prevent suicides) and Dongguan Yidong Electronics.
The same Foxconn was in the spotlight back in 2012, when it was suspected of hiring teenagers at night to produce a particular Wii U, which had already been a reminder of the standards in force. Follow case? Only the future will tell us.