Today, Nintendo officially introduces the Partnership System. The system has been in place since March 2021 but was formally announced today. In Japan, same-sex marriages are not currently recognized under Japanese law. This new system recognizes employees at Nintendo Japan who is in domestic partnerships with a same-sex partner going against the country’s laws.
At the moment, Japan is the only member of the G7 group of developed nations that does not recognize same-sex marriages. A district in Osaka upheld Japan’s ban ruling that the law does not violate the country’s constitution.
In an update on Nintendo’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Guidelines, the company wrote “At Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Japan), we want to create a work environment that supports and empowers each and every one of our unique employees. We introduced the Partnership System in March 2021 as one initiative based on this philosophy. Although same-sex marriages are not currently recognized under Japanese law, this system ensures employees who are 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 has already been established in the Code of Conduct for employees that “we do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, nationality, ideology, religion, creed, origin, social status, class, occupation, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity,” prohibiting all forms of discrimination. Nintendo also revised its internal regulations regarding harassment to clearly prohibit discriminatory comments based on sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as disclosing someone’s privately held sexual orientation against their will.
Nintendo’s 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.