• Kyodo

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Oak Lawn Marketing Inc., which runs the Shop Japan TV shopping channel, said Tuesday that it will extend monetary benefits and vacation leave to employees who receive official recognition of same-sex marriage, treating them equally to heterosexual couples.

The shopping service provider, based in Nagoya and affiliated with mobile carrier NTT Docomo Inc., said the change is part of its move to promote diversity at the company, which employs people from a wide range of nationalities and cultural backgrounds.

An employee marrying a partner and getting certified under municipal ordinances or other comparable measures will be provided with ¥10,000 to ¥30,000 in congratulatory money depending on the length of service with the company as well as six days of leave, according to Oak Lawn Marketing. Condolence money will also be provided when the partner dies.

The Constitution says marriage is “based only on the mutual consent of both sexes,” although Tokyo’s Shibuya and Setagaya wards are planning to issue certificates recognizing same-sex partnerships starting this fall.

Gradually, more businesses in Japan, mainly foreign-owned enterprises, are recognizing employees’ same-sex partnerships when providing benefits.

Cosmetics company Lush Japan Co., for instance, recognizes an employee’s partner as a spouse and provides congratulatory money, child care leave and nursing care leave if the partnership is reported to the company, regardless of the partner’s sex.

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