Citing a desire to cultivate diversity, Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten today made public a broad revision in its internal employment policy by redefining the definition of ‘spouse’ in order to extend benefit packages to same-sex partners.

The benefits include congratulations leave when partners officiate the partnership and condolence leave should a spouse die, which includes consolation payments.

Same-sex marriage is illegal in Japan and before today the Rakuten had only recognised official marriage certificates under Japanese law, a policy which would have made it impossible for LGBTQ couples to receive the benefits. READ FULL