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2017 Vol.4
Trends in LGBT Policy and Corporate Responses to LGBT Issues


This paper aims to clarify the way gender diversity is and will be addressed in Japan. To achieve this aim, this paper describes trends in LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) policy and corporate responses to LGBT issues, and examines future prospects and challenges. Section 2 discusses LGBT policies at the national and local government levels since the early 2000s. LGBT policies have traditionally prohibited discrimination within the framework of protection of human rights and gender equality between men and women. Yet, as recent examples show, policy measures are now being implemented not only to prohibit discrimination but also to provide support for LGBT people, and LGBT policies are being managed within the framework of respecting diversity in some cases. Section 3 focuses on corporate responses to LGBT issues and discusses the needs of LGBT workers and relevant efforts made by companies. Companies should address LGBT issues regarding LGBT employees’ feeling of being discriminated against and their willingness to work. Although some companies promoting diversity in the workplace have made progress in responding to LGBT issues, in general LGBT workers have not enjoyed what they want for their workplace. More case studies should be conducted to investigate what and how various measures may be implemented in a concrete manner. In particular, studies should focus on finding out what prompts companies’ responses to LGBT issues. Government policies and corporate responses should be planned carefully so that they will not be based on misunderstanding and unfavorable to LGBT people. The first step in seeing things from their perspective would be to accept gender diversity. An important question is how our society faces the fact that gender identity is not limited to men and women.