Rakuten to recognize same-sex partners as spouses and offer married employee benefits to same-sex couples. Five initiatives aimed at LGBT customers such as Rakuten Wedding are being implemented.

rakuten_pointcardRakuten Inc, a famous online shopping mall and shopping-website operator with one hundred million customers, announced that it will expand the definition of “spouse” to same-sex partners at the board meeting on July 22nd. Under the new rule, same-sex partners of employees are eligible for the same benefits as married couples including condolence leave and consolation payments. Submission of documents with their signatures is required for the recognition,

Rakuten Inc has more than 13,000 employees including non-Japanese employees. Rakuten Inc has worked on establishing in-house systems that promotes acceptance and understanding of people from different social backgrounds. Last June, LGBT employees started in-house activities in efforts to achieve better understanding of LGBT people in their workplace. This revision to the definition of “spouse” came in response to those activities.

In addition to the revision, Rakuten Inc has started five services targeting LGBT customers. These services are Rakuten Wedding, Viber, Rakuten Card, Rakuten Life Insurance, and Rakuten Edy. Rakuten Wedding provides information on LGBT-friendly wedding places to LGBT customers. Viber and Rakuten Edy provides services in the colors of the rainbow, which is a globally recognized symbol of support for LGBT community. Rakuten Card and Rakuten Life Insurance are also planning to allow same- sex partners to receive the same benefits as married couples.

<Initiatives for LGBT customers. >
Rakuten Wedding
– has opened a website that provides information on LGBT-friendly wedding places with welcome messages from the staff.
URL : http://wedding.rakuten.co.jp/special/lgbt/

– has released new stickers of its original character designed in the colors of the rainbow to show support for LGBT community.

Rakuten Card
– has revised its policy to allow same-sex partners a joint use of “Family Card” , which was originally issued only to the card members and their family members at the age of 18 or older in the same household.

Rakuten Life Insurance
– now allows same-sex partners to be designated beneficiaries .

Rakuten Edy
– has released a rainbow-colored version of “Edy- Rakuten Point Card.” It will be sold on the Rakuten Edy official shopping website.