In the past five years, Japan has seen a surge in public discussion about LGBTQ issues. This discussion has been spurred by social and legal changes occurring around the world (such as partnership rights and social and medical support for trans individuals), local activism, as well as by the expectations that come along with Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympics. Businesses based in Japan - both local and multinational - have shown their support for LGBTQ issues through sponsoring events as well as having a presence at LGBTQ events such as pride parades. Consultancy firms which specialize in providing advice and support to companies that wish to become more LGBTQ-friendly and attract employees of diverse backgrounds have also sprung up. Based on interviews conducted with individuals who work at these LGBTQ consultancy firms, this paper explores the backdrop against which these firms came to exist, their activities as well as some of the criticism that they have faced from activists who claim they are making use of a minority group for financial gain. This analysis will be used as a lens through which to consider how LGBTQ individuals are imagined and treated by workplaces, as well as to consider what practices are being recommended for a more inclusive environment.
Japan, LGBTQ, Work
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University, Japan