June 7, 2021
  • Rakuten Group, Inc.

Rakuten Endorses “Business Support for LGBT Equality in Japan” Declaration Aimed at Passing the LGBT Equality Act

– Aiming to build a society where all individuals can live full lives and actively contribute without discrimination.

Tokyo, June 7, 2021 – Rakuten Group, Inc. today announced that it calls on Japan’s Diet to pass the Bill for the Promotion of Public Awareness Regarding the Diversity of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity during the current Diet session. Rakuten also endorses the Business Support for LGBT Equality in Japan*1 declaration aimed at enacting an LGBT Equality Act.

Based on Rakuten’s mission to empower people and society through innovation and entrepreneurship, diversity and inclusion initiatives are core to the company’s corporate strategy. This is why Rakuten has committed to establishing a working environment that allows employees with diverse individual characteristics, values and talents to be themselves at work.

Rakuten boasts a global workforce of 25,000 employees representing more than 70 nationalities and a diversity of backgrounds. The company’s core principles for management of employees state that the company will not discriminate based on race, gender, beliefs, marital history, familial structure, religious or political preferences, age, sexual orientation or sexual identity (SOGI).

In addition, Rakuten endeavors to provide services that respect the unique qualities and values of its customers, business partners and all communities worldwide.

Rakuten endorses the enactment of this bill because it is aligned with our own diversity and inclusion initiatives, because we must build a society where all individuals are empowered to live full lives and actively contribute without discrimination and, ultimately, because it is essential to Japan’s ability to innovate and competitiveness on the world stage.

Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten Group, commented, “It is accepted around the world that respect of the basic human rights of all individuals to live free from discrimination is the foundation of social progress. I ask that all of Japan’s political parties make every possible effort to transcend political boundaries to drive innovation in Japan and our competitiveness on the world stage.”

Rakuten’s internal initiatives to date include revision of the definition of "spouse" in internal policies in 2016 to include same-sex partners of employees of all genders, allowing eligibility for company benefits such as special leave for weddings and funerals as well as monetary bonuses in case of personal tragedy. Additionally, Rakuten has conducted a variety of initiatives aimed at realizing a “safe” and supportive work environment for everyone, including access to multi-purpose toilets without gender restrictions, online and offline information desks, and promotion of awareness through open seminars.

In addition to participating in Tokyo Rainbow Pride ( https://rakuten.today/sports-entertainment/lgbt-network-tokyo-pride-2019.html ), Rakuten is currently hosting the “Walk Together With Pride” initiative ( https://global.rakuten.com/corp/event/pride2021/ ) throughout June 2021, aligning with Pride Month to raise awareness and show support for the LGBTQ+*2 community. See here for more on Rakuten’s initiatives to promote diversity: https://global.rakuten.com/corp/sustainability/employees/diversity/

Rakuten will continue working to contribute to the creation of a society where all communities and individuals are free from discrimination and prejudice.

*1 Declaration of Support: https://equalityactjapan.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/declaration_en.pdf
*2 LGBTQ+ is an abbreviation which is not limited to only lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning communities, but is used here more broadly to respectfully represent a diverse spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities.

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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