Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Tokyo summit on Freedom, Peace & Inclusion

27 Aug, 2022

Keynote speakers (l-to-r): Justin Green (Accenture), Masako Tanaka (Sophia University), Hiroyasu Ito (Japan Abilities Association), Brian Grim (Religious Freedom & Business Foundation)

Dare to Overcome (DTO) Japan next step toward India 2023

Keynote speakers at DTO Japan discussed concrete steps for overcoming some of society’s biggest challenges, beginning with war and peace, moving to human trafficking, and concluding with the stigmatization of people with disabilities.

Brian Grim, Global Chairman of Dare to Overcome, kicked of the summit with a brief history of Dare to Overcome and its mission of peace. He then discussed why the future of business lies in embracing diversity, and how that is a practical strategy for building peaceful and prosperous societies. Grim exemplified this with examples from the global network that is part of Dare to Overcome. He conclude by inviting all to stay involved and join DTO India in September 2023.

Watch or read Grim’s entire address here, supplemented with video examples given as part of his address.

Masaka Tanaka dove into the problem of how human traffickers exploit the Japanese Technical Intern Training Program (TITP). For example, as reported by Japan Times:

The [TITP] program, which was created in 1993 as a means to transfer skills and nurture talent in developing countries, has been criticized as a hotbed of exploitation and as a means for human traffickers to entice foreign workers to Japan, where they can be forced to work as victims of “extortion contracts” with severely limited freedoms. The program came under renewed scrutiny this year, when the government revoked the license of an intermediary company that recruited technical interns from overseas after a Vietnamese construction worker suffered repeated beatings at the hands of his coworkers. It was the 33rd time a permit had been revoked for failures to uphold worker safety obligations since regulations were introduced in 2017.

Hiroyasu Ito, the father of disability inclusion in Japan, gave a history of the movement from official policy allowing exclusion of people with disabilities from the workforce to a policy where companies are now required to have 1.2% of their workforce be people with varying disabilities, or face fines. He recounted his own personal history of being denied employment to now leading the largest Abilities association and company in Japan today.

Read more about Mr. Ito, recipient of our 2021 Global Business Overcomer’s Award.

Finally, Accenture’s Justin Greene also shared his personal journey of greater effectiveness and more significant opportunities for leadership once he made his neurological disability known. He had helped lead Accenture’s employee resource group for people with disabilities, helping fulfill the company’s tagline: to be the world’s most human company.

At the bottom you can see Justin Greene’s talk from the 2021 virtual Tokyo DTO. Justin’s in-person participation was thanks to the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s partnership with American Airlines, who also supports such initiatives that reflect their mission to care for one another along life’s journey.

Our venue was the prestigious Sophia University, a Jesuit university set across from the State Guesthouse and just up the road from the Japanese Diet and with walking distance of the Imperial Gardens and Palace. Our Japan partner MetaVenture has worked with us to provide excellent mission-driven programming, both virtually and in person!

And finally, thanks to Templeton Religion Trust for their sponsorship of the initiative.

Stay tuned for more details on Date to Overcome India, to be held September 24-26, 2023, in New Delhi.