Japanese police are investigating a possible human trafficking operation after arresting 11 Chinese construction workers at a solar power plant over visa violations and finding another 46 have fled. The case comes as Japan faceslabour shortages owing to an ageing population and political discussions are now considering legislation to allow more foreign workers.
According to a new Global Witness report, two Japanese companies were buying illegally-logged timber from Malaysia's rainforests and labelling much of it as 'legal' under a government-sanctioned certification scheme. The report highlights the role of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud in the transactions. The two companies have denied the allegations, while the state of Sarawak said there was no proof to the allegation.
Japanese pulp company solidifies its position as the world’s biggest pulp trader by buying a 24.9% stake from M-Real in Finnish pulp producer, Metsa Fibre. Increasingly volatile pulp prices are thought to have been a key driver in the deal for M-Real which wanted to reduce its pulp surplus.