Nintendo Japan says it recognizes same-sex marriages, even though Japan doesn’t

Nintendo posted an update on the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives yesterday, and while that’s normally a pretty outdated kind of thing to read as a fan, this particular post had one thing that stood out.

As spotted by Go Nintendoin a section titled Introduction of a partnership systemNintendo announces that as of March 2021, the company has implemented a policy that “same-sex partners” can enjoy the “same benefits as employees in a heterosexual marriage”.

It’s a big problem ! Although there have been attempts at the national and municipal level in recent years to change this, it was only weeks ago that Japanese courts upheld a nationwide ban on same-sex marriages, ruling them unconstitutional. In a case held in Osaka and tried on June 20, it was found that “under the constitution, the definition of marriage does not extend to same-sex partnerships.”

Nintendo’s “Partnership System” does everything it can to circumvent this problem, as it states (emphasis mine):

At Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Japan), we want to create a work environment that supports and empowers each of our unique employees.

We introduced the Partner System in March 2021 as an initiative based on this philosophy. Although same-sex marriages are not currently recognized by Japanese law, this system guarantees employees who are in a domestic partnership with a same-sex partner the same benefits as employees in a heterosexual marriage. We have also established that a de facto marriage between couples will be observed in the same way as a legal marriage..

In the Code of Conduct for our employees, we had already established that “we do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, ideology, religion, creed, origin, social status , class, occupation, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation. , or gender identity”, prohibiting any form of discrimination. In addition to introducing the partner system, we have revised our internal harassment policies to clearly prohibit discriminatory comments based on sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as the disclosure of private sexual orientation. of a person against his will.

Along with the introduction of the partnership system in Japan, we educated our employees on the issue of gender diversity with a message from our president to educate them on what diversity means. In this message, the President called on all employees to adopt a renewed understanding that even speech and actions, which are not intended to cause harm, can cause significant emotional pain, asking for understanding and support to create an environment in which everyone can work comfortably.

By improving our company’s systems and providing training, we will continue our work to create an environment where each of our many diverse employees can fully realize their talents.

Japan is the only G7 member that does not legally recognize same-sex marriage. The country also “requires transgender people to be surgically sterilized if they want legal recognition of their gender identity” (Nintendo, meanwhile, says above that they “do not discriminate based on…l ‘gender identity’).

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