The Japan Times reports that, in a climate of government inaction, businesses are beginning to lead the way in promoting LGBT nondiscrimination. More and more, Japanese companies aim to address the needs of their LGBT employees and consumers.
The inclusive atmosphere at Goldman Sachs Japan helped Hiroki Inaba, a vice president in legal, come out after being closeted for 10 years in the workplace. He told the Times that, “Coming out had a surprisingly positive effect. I feel a stronger bond with my colleagues now. I can naturally talk about myself, including my private life. It became easier to work.”
Other companies are also taking concrete steps to address the LGBT community. The cell phone carriers NTT Docomo Inc. and KDDI Corp., have expanded family discounts to same sex customers. Lifenet Insurance Co. will allow same-sex partners to be designated as beneficiaries. And the housing firm Recruit Sumai Company Ltd. has laid out plans to address discrimination and make housing more available for LGBT renters and homebuyers.