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Nintendo Japan recognises same-sex marriage, despite Japanese law

Empowering "each and every one of our unique employees."

Nintendo Japan has updated the Corporate Social Responsibility Information on its website to recognise same-sex marriage, even though it's banned in Japanese law.

A new section called Introduction of a Partnership System notes that since March 2021, employees in a domestic partnership with a same-sex partner have the same benefits as employees in an opposite-sex marriage.

"We have also established that a common-law marriage between couples will be observed in the same way as a legal marriage," it reads.

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

The statement continues: "Alongside the introduction of the Partnership System in Japan, we notified our employees about the issue of gender diversity with a message from our President as a means of raising awareness of what diversity means. In this message, the President called for all employees to adopt a renewed understanding that even speech and actions, which are not intended to 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 systems and conducting training, we will continue our work to create an environment where each of our many diverse employees can fully realise their talents."

This change is despite the fact same-sex marriages are not recognised under Japanese law.

Just last month a court upheld a ban on same-sex marriage in a lawsuit in the Osaka district court, ruling that under the constitution the definition of marriage did not extend to same-sex partnerships.

Transgender people are also required to be surgically sterilised under Japanese law if they want legal recognition of their gender identity, but Nintendo's message instead promotes gender diversity.

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Ed Nightingale

News reporter

Ed is Reporter at Eurogamer, with an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.


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