Update: It has been highlighted that this particular addition to Nintendo's CSR first appeared when it was updated last year, and is therefore not a new addition to the document. We apologise for the error.
Bearing in mind we haven't previously reported on it, we've decided to keep the story live.
In an update to the Corporate Social Responsibility information set out on its Japanese website, Nintendo has acknowledged same-sex marriages as part of its employee Partnership System, despite marriages between same-sex partners not being recognised under Japanese law.
As noted by Eurogamer, this addition to the Employees section of the CSR specifically highlights the company's divergence from current Japanese law on same-sex partnerships. The update also states that common-law marriages "will be observed in the same way as a legal marriage".
Here's an extract from the 'Introduction of a Partnership System' section of the CSR:
At Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Japan), we want to create a work environment that supports and empowers each and every one of our unique employees.
We introduced the Partnership System in March 2021 as one initiative based on this philosophy. Although same-sex marriages are not currently recognized under Japanese law, this system ensures employees who are in a domestic partnership with a same-sex partner have the same benefits as employees in an opposite-sex marriage. We have also established that a common-law marriage between couples will be observed in the same way as a legal marriage.
In June, the government of Tokyo prefecture became the ninth of Japan's 47 prefectures to adopt legislation which recognises same-sex partnerships, although that doesn't offer the same rights and protections as a legal marriage.
The page goes on to reiterate Nintendo's established anti-discriminatory stance, plus revisions to existing initiatives and mention of a message from company President Shuntaro Furukawa calling for employees to consider the "significant emotional pain" a careless comment or action can cause:
In addition to introducing the Partnership System, we revised our internal regulations regarding harassment to clearly prohibit discriminatory comments based on sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as disclosing someone's privately held sexual orientation against their will.
Alongside the introduction of the Partnership System in Japan, we notified our employees about the issue of gender diversity with a message from our President as a means of raising awareness of what diversity means. In this message, the President called for all employees to adopt a renewed understanding that even speech and actions, which are not intended to harm, can cause significant emotional pain, asking for understanding and support to create an environment in which everyone can work comfortably.
By improving our company systems and conducting training, we will continue our work to create an environment where each of our many diverse employees can fully realize their talents.
Elsewhere in the statement, NCL details global strategies aiming to respect and foster diversity and equity across the company, with specific mention of the establishment of Employee Resource Groups such as Black at Nintendo Dialogue (B@ND) and Nintendo Women and Allies to "encourage mutual understanding and fellowship among our employees".