Nintendo of Japan announces partnership system to recognize same-sex marriages

Following a recent court ruling denying same-sex couples the right to marry in Japan, Nintendo is updating its benefits to help its LGBT employees.

In today’s world situation, many people cannot wait without seeing some sort of update on the state of LGBT rights around the world. Although many countries have slowly legalized same-sex marriages in recent years, other countries have not. Japan is one of the remaining countries that has yet to legalize same-sex marriage in any way, and Nintendo of Japan has announced that it will recognize same-sex employee couples through a partnership system.


Japan has always been relatively odd when it comes to real-life LGBT relationships. While many anime fans may be familiar with genres like Boys Love anime being quite popular, the country as a whole is reluctant to offer any sort of legal support to everyday same-sex relationships. Meanwhile, companies like Sega have openly made sure they offer their best resources to their LGBT employees instead of the government, and Nintendo seems to be joining that fight.

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In a recent update to Nintendo of Japan’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy, one of the first things people will see on the dedicated “Diverse Environments” page is a post about the introduction of a “partnership system”. This notice states that the system will ensure that same-sex couples working with Nintendo enjoy the same benefits as same-sex couples also working with Nintendo. It also states that common law marriages “shall be observed in the same manner as a legal marriage”.

While the post also states that this partnership system may have been introduced in 2021, it appears that the scope of the partnership has been expanded following a recent court ruling in Osaka, Japan on June 20, 2022, which declared that same-sex marriages are still considered “unconstitutional” in the country. Nintendo may have updated its policy to give its LGBT employees peace of mind, much like other gaming companies have added policies to support their employees following the recent Roe vs. Wade coup in the US.

In addition to the partnership system, the notice also details Nintendo of Japan’s efforts to eliminate all discrimination based on gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and more. It describes how anti-harassment regulations have been expanded to prohibit rude comments about employees’ sexual orientation and gender identity, including coming out without consent.

The fact that Nintendo of Japan has updated its offering in such detail makes it seem like the company wants to do more for its employees, but without official legislation from the Japanese government, its hands are tied. This can be enough to make same-sex couples inside Nintendo feel more comfortable at work as the fight for gay marriage continues in their country.

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Source: Nintendo of Japan announces partnership system to recognize same-sex marriages


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