27 Jul 2016

Japanese company Rakuten introduces pro-LGBT policies

Company has joined a number of Japanese firms offering diversity programmes by extending meaning of ‘spouse’ to include same-sex couples.

Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten has announced that it will be offering same-sex couples the same benefits as straight couples.

The benefits announced in a press release this week include leave when employees officiate the partnership and condolence leave and payments should a spouse die.

The company also launched a series of initiatives in support of the LGBTQ community. These include Rakuten Weddings which provides information for LGBT weddings and Rakuten Life Insurance which has been extended to same-sex partners.

“Rakuten brings together people from many different backgrounds and we are very proud to support and provide a diverse and inclusive workplace with services and benefits that recognize same-sex partners,” commented Akio Sugihara, Chief People Officer and Managing Executive Officer, Rakuten.

The move follows an increasing awareness of LGBT issues and equality by Japanese companies. Japan Airlines Co. and Japan TransOcean Air Co were among companies that sponsored the “Pink Dot Okinawa” event held in the prefectural capital in mid-July.

“As a carrier based in Okinawa which heavily relies on tourism, we would like to contribute to the creation of an area LGBTs can readily visit,” a JTA official said.