TOKYO, JAPAN - Tokyo has adopted an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance ahead of hosting the XXXII Olympic Summer Games. The measure includes a public education campaign about LGBTQ rights ahead of the 2020 world event.

 

Approved by the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, the ordinance takes aim at hate speech and will go  into effect in April.

  TokyoOlympics

The new ordinance regulates the use of public spaces, such as city parks, to prevent anti-LGBTQ groups from promoting discriminatory rhetoric, PinkNews reports.

 

The ordinance also improves access for same-sex couples in situations such as hospital visits.

 

Further, Pride House Tokyo, an LGBTQ hospitality house will be set up during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as a place to exchange and distribute information about issues faced by LGBTQ attendees.

 

According to PinkNews, Japan is relatively accepting of LGBTQ people compared to other Asian countries, with eight cities and city wards including Fukuoka and Sapporo having legally recognized same-sex unions.

 

Accordingly, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, announced  today a partnership with Good Aging Yells during Work with Pride -- one of the Asia-Pacific region’s largest forums on LGBTQ-inclusive businesses -- to promote LGBTQ inclusion across workplaces in Japan. For the second consecutive year, HRC joined corporate partners here to discuss the barriers facing LGBTQ employees and new ways to equip Japanese businesses and multinationals to cultivate more LGBTQ-inclusive workplaces across the country.

  TokyoPrideHouse

Deena Fidas, Director of the HRC Foundation’s Global Workplace Equality Program and co-author of HRC’s annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI) -- the premier national benchmarking tool on corporate LGBTQ-inclusive policies -- led a discussion on LGBTQ workplace equality, shared innovative steps companies can take to increase protections for LGBTQ employees and highlighted companies demonstrating LGBTQ-inclusive best practices and policies. Joined by Good Aging Yells founder Gon Matsunaka, Fidas underscored the importance of HRC’s partnership with Tokyo’s largest LGBT advocacy group and commended its commitment to promoting LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies in Japan.

 

“We are delighted to be working with Good Aging Yells as it continues the momentum for LGBTQ equality in Japan and generates interest among major corporations to invest in inclusion and take advantage of the benefits that translate into a better corporate culture,” said Fidas, who is also director of HRC Equidad MX and HRC Equidad CL, which are advancing LGBT inclusion in workplaces across Mexico and Chile. “The demand for LGBTQ equality and workplace inclusion has never been more significant.”

 

“We are working to achieve greater LGBTQ inclusion in all areas of life creating safe spaces for our community,” said Gon Matsunaka, Head & Founder of Good Aging Yells. “We are proud to carry out this partnership with the Human Rights Campaign to expand our mission and ensure LGBTQ protections in Japanese workplaces. We are excited to work together to explore new methods to promote inclusive corporate environments, develop better tools and build a stronger economy based on the value of promoting and retaining diverse talent.”

  TokyoPride

Through its Corporate Equality Index and Global Workplace Equality Programs, the HRC Foundation has established guidelines to implement LGBT-inclusive policies for more than 14.5 million employees worldwide. The program is currently developing a toolkit for Japanese businesses to measure equality in their workplaces, and to make business leaders aware of the added cost when employees have to hide their sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

While in Tokyo, HRC staff conducted workshops with corporate leaders from across the private sector and civil society stakeholders including the LGBT Lawyers and Allies Network, the American Chamber of Commerce, and HRC Global Innovator and LGBTQ activist Fumino Sugiyama.

 

Bolstered by the new partnership with Good Aging Yells and the support of Work with Pride, HRC will kickoff a corporate roundtable series during Tokyo Pride 2019 to promote lasting LGBTQ inclusion in the region, and spotlight new anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBTQ people in the region. 

 

HRC is proud to join with Accenture, EY Japan, NTT Group, Japan Post Insurance Co., Cisco Systems LLC, Shimizu Corporation, Sony Corporation, Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co., IBM Japan, Japan Airlines, Panasonic Corporation, East Japan Railway Company, Marui Group, JP Bank, LifeNet, Recruit, Nomura and Base Q to promote LGBTQ-inclusion in Japanese workplaces and across the region.

 

For more information on HRC Global Equality programs, please visit hrc.im/GlobalWorkplacePrograms.

 

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