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Nintendo denies claims of forced labour in supply chain

President Furukawa says firm has not received reports of forced work, following report published last year

Nintendo has denied allegations of forced labour found inside factories that manufacture its products.

The allegations stemmed from a BBC report published last year -- using research from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute -- that claimed thousands of Muslims from China's Uyghur minority group were working under coercive conditions at numerous factories.

During its general meeting of shareholders this week -- as spotted by VGC -- a shareholder questioned Nintendo's board members on the report, and drew attention to the Japanese firm's previous work with companies in the area.

Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa confirmed that some factories named in the report were part of Nintendo's supply chain, but the company is not aware of any ongoing forced labour.

"We are aware that there was a report that Uyghurs may have been forced to work in the factories of our supply chain," Furukawa said. "However, as far as we have investigated the factory pointed out in the report, we could not find any record that it is our business partner, nor have we received any reports of forced labour in our supply chain.

"In order to ensure that forced labour does not occur in our supply chain, we have established a CSR procurement policy and we ask our suppliers to comply with our activities based on the Nintendo CSR Procurement Guidelines.

"We conduct our business under the policy that if there is any actual or serious risk of forced labour, not only for Uyghurs, we will stop doing business with them."

The ASPI research, published in March 2020, identified 82 foreign and Chinese companies that may be directly or indirectly involved in said abusive labour programs, including Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

It also notes that "a small number of brands advised they have instructed their vendors to terminate their relationships with these suppliers in 2020."

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