While same-sex marriage is not yet legal in Japan, support for LGBT people is still showing encouraging growth in the country.
This support is being shown at a high level with several Japanese firms showing support for LGBT customers and employees, amid all around growing recognition for LGBT people.
In the prefectural capital of Okinawa, there was an event called Pink Dot Okinawa that was sponsored by several Japanese companies. These include Japan Airlines Co. and Japan TransOcean Air Co., a JAL group carrier based in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.
According to the event organisers, these companies are among the first Japanese airlines to sponsor a private LGBT event.
Hideki Sunagawa, a leader in organizing the event, said: “Support from airlines which lay weight on their brand image makes us realize that the image of LGBTs is changing in a favorable way.”
A JTA official also chimed in, saying: “As a carrier based in Okinawa which heavily relies on tourism, we would like to contribute to the creation of an area LGBTs can readily visit.”
We have also seen some pretty heavyweight companies throw their support behind this year’s Tokyo Rainbow Pride, these include Lush, Netflix and Cheerio Corp (a Japanese soft drinks maker).
Another company, Lifenet Insurance Co, while being amongst the sponsors also released an insurance policy for same-sex couples late last year.
As mentioned at the start of this article, same-sex marriage is not legal in Japan, but several cities and city wards have legalised same-sex partnerships with the same benefits as marriage. These include Shibuya Wards, Iga, Mie Prefecture, Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, and Naha.