Compliance and Tax Strategy
Guided by Rakuten Shugi, Rakuten Group is committed to conducting business with honesty, sincerity and dignity. We also work to comply with all relevant laws and regulations in order to achieve our mission to empower society through innovation and to continue to be recognized as a responsible corporate citizen.
Guided by The Rakuten Group Code of Ethics, the Group has created systems to ensure that companies affiliated with the Rakuten Group comply with regulatory requirements. Related training is also conducted.
As part of strengthening the group governance system, the Rakuten Group has appointed a Function CCO (Function Chief Compliance Officer: a dedicated position overseeing Group-wide compliance initiatives under the leadership of the COO (Chief Operating Officer)). To oversee and report on compliance at the Company level, each Company also has a Company-CCO who reports to the Function CCO on compliance matters. Through this framework, the Rakuten Group aims to continuously maintain and improve its Group-wide compliance activities.
The Rakuten Group conducts compliance training for executives and employees in order to raise awareness of legal compliance.
The Rakuten Group understands the importance of creating and maintaining an environment where the human rights of all employees are respected and job responsibilities can be carried out on the basis of mutual trust. Training is held for executives and employees to raise awareness of harassment and other issues, and realize this vision.
The Rakuten Group has also established a harassment consultation desk to respond to reports of harassment and related complaints, and ensure that behavior constituting harassment is dealt with appropriately.
The Rakuten Group has set up internal and external confidential hotlines for Group employees to report violations or suspected violations of laws, regulations and internal rules such as the Rakuten Group Regulations including the Rakuten Group Code of Ethics.
Measures Related to Illegal and Restricted Trade in Wildlife
Since its founding, Rakuten’s core mission has been to empower people and society through the internet. In accordance with the Rakuten Group Code of Ethics, we are committed to contributing to society as we build the corporate value of the Group. As part of our commitment to this mission and our cultural and ethical values, Rakuten is committed to working with our merchant partners to ensure their businesses are conducted in accordance with all applicable local and international laws and that products available on our e-commerce marketplaces are sourced in an appropriate and legal manner.
Rakuten follows all local and relevant international laws on animals and wildlife, including international conventions such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and comprehensive regulations such as Japan’s Act for the Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
We will continue to evaluate and improve our policies and compliance measures, taking into account the perspectives of relevant stakeholders.
Measures to enhance the integrity of transactions on the Ichiba marketplace
As part of Rakuten’s ongoing efforts to strengthen compliance measures and in order to maintain the integrity of transactions on the Ichiba marketplace and the trust of our stakeholders, Rakuten announced improved and detailed guidelines, known as the Penalty Points System, to take effect on September 1, 2016. According to the Penalty Points System, if a merchant is found to be selling products that do not adhere to these guidelines, they may be subject to clearly stated financial and other penalties. The Penalty Points System is applicable to the infringement of rules and guidelines including those related to illegal and restricted wildlife products.
Measures related to goods and actions prohibited on Ichiba marketplace platform in Japan, including wildlife products
Rakuten’s specific measures related to goods and actions prohibited on the Ichiba marketplace platform in Japan, including wildlife products, include the following.
- Trade in and promotion of wildlife and wildlife products from endangered species is restricted subject to Japan's commitment as a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, as well as national and local laws on commercial trade such as the Act for the Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
- In addition to relevant laws, Rakuten’s Ichiba marketplace policy also prohibits the sale of wildlife products including those which make use of whale, dolphin, ivory or sea turtle.
- Rakuten has strict compliance measures in place to ensure merchants adhere to legal requirements that are intended to restrict the sale of wildlife products to those that are sourced in an appropriate and legal manner.
- If a merchant is found to be selling products that do not adhere to the guidelines, the merchant will be liable for financial and other penalties in accordance with the Penalty Points System and, if they do not remove the product from the site within a specified deadline, operations of the store’s site may be suspended.
In order to maintain the integrity of transactions on the Ichiba marketplace and the trust of our stakeholders, Rakuten will continue to monitor the effectiveness and compliance of its monitoring programs, and make improvements as needed.
Rakuten is committed to active consultation with relevant stakeholders to enhance and improve its compliance programs.
Rakuten Group’s mission is empowerment. By paying our fair share of taxes, we contribute to society and empower local communities and central governments to fund social, educational and cultural programs.
- We adhere to the requirements of the local tax legislation in all countries and regions we operate, as well as to international tax rules and policies.
- We file our tax returns and make tax payments on time.
- We apply the “arm’s length” principle in our transfer pricing policies across the group, taking into account the latest guidelines from the OECD and the local authorities.
- We believe in legitimate tax planning that is based on the spirit of the law and that reflects economic reality.
- We pledge to respond to any tax violations by our employees or business partners of which we become aware in a serious and responsible manner.
- We maintain an open and honest dialogue with the tax authorities.
- We follow and comply with both the letter and the spirit of the tax legislation in all countries and regions we operate.
Kenji Hirose, our CFO & CRO who is a Group Managing Executive Officer is responsible for tax policy, and the department in charge of tax periodically reports to the CFO.