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Gov’t, academia paying consideration to LGBT community

  • October 19, 2016
  • , Nikkei evening edition , p. 15
  • JMH Translation

The government and academic circles are taking initiative in making their workplaces friendly to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. They are holding in-house seminars and introducing measures to support and promote the understanding of LGBT colleagues. Some local governments allow workers to add their same-sex partners as beneficiaries of welfare services. But they still lag behind the private sector, and experts are encouraging them to partner with non-profit organizations connected to the LGBT community.


In early September, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) held its inaugural in-house training session on sexual orientation and gender identity for senior officials. It was joined by Minister Hirokazu Matsuno and about 100 people who are at the division chief level and above.


Last spring, MEXT sent out notices to education boards across the nation to ask them to pay consideration to LGBT children. This spring, it created LGBT manuals for elementary, junior high school and senior high school teachers. While some sections within the ministry are becoming aware of this issue, there are people who still lack basic knowledge.


In late July, the Cabinet Personnel Bureau convened a meeting of people who oversee personnel matters in ministries and agencies to brief them on LGBT issues for the first time. The program invited Maki Muraki, representative of Nijiiro Diversity, and was joined by 50 officials from the ministries and agencies.


In August, the municipal office of Takarazuka in Hyogo Prefecture held four in-house training sessions to enhance understanding of the LGBT community among its workers. A municipal aid society joined by the workers of the Setagaya Ward office in Tokyo has been offering wedding celebration allowances to those with same-sex partners since this fiscal year.


In the academic quarter, Kyoto Seika University revised the definition of spouse in its work rules this spring. (Abridged)

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