According to Nikkei Business Publications, Kanagawa Prefecture announced, on April 10th, that the prefecture is planning to launch a new enterprise to show support to its LGBT citizens. Consulting staff will be sent to local businesses if needed. In addition to the consultation service, seminars and in-house trainings will be held to achieve better understanding of LGBT people. Kanagawa Prefecture has taken a step toward achieving an LGBT-friendly prefecture where anyone can live happily regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The press release, entitled “Stay As You Are!”, says “In order to achieve a society where LGBT people can live happily and embrace themselves, we have done a variety of events such as lighting up our main government building in rainbow. And this time, we are going to launch new enterprises to support LGBT citizens. One of them is one-on-one consultation service. Consulting staff will be sent to local businesses that employ LGBT people so that they can talk and solve the problems they have at workplace. We are still in the process of figuring out what is best for them, but there is more to come.”
1. Consultation Service for LGBT workers
Consulting staff or clinical psychologists are sent upon request from LGBT workers, their family or allies(school teachers, etc)
2. Kanagawa Nijiiro Talk Get-together (“Nijiiro” means rainbow in Japanese)
Safe places will be provided with LGBT students in their teens or 20s who suffer from being bullied and discrimination at workplace. By giving them a place where they can talk about their experience and listen to those in a similar situation, Kanagawa Nijiiro Talk Get- together will encourage them to move forward and solve their problems. We are also going to hold several get-togethers in local areas.
3. Seminars for people working in HR
LGBT instructors will give a lecture to people working in HR.
4. Seminars for childcare providers
LGBT instructors will give a lecture to childcare providers on how to deal with LGBT children and how to create a supportive environment for them.
Some local governments have provided consultation services for LGBT citizens, but there has never been dispatching consulting staff in Japan. Clinical psychologists will be sent upon request to schools or workplaces for free. This system enables those reluctant to actually visit a consulting office to have access to the services.
In addition, get-togethers for LGBT youths will be held in cooperation with SHIP once a month.
Small companies tend to be less LGBT-friendly compared with big companies, so LGBT seminars for small companies will be held. By doing so, Kanagawa Prefecture hopes the companies will employ more LGBT people.
“We will work hard to create a society where everyone can embrace themselves and live happily,” the mayor said.