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Japan’s ruling party will interview employees at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other companies to see how they are promoting inclusive workplaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan’s committee on LGBT issues will speak on Friday with a Tokyo-based Goldman vice president who recently came out as a gay man, Hiroko Matsumoto, a Goldman spokeswoman said by phone.

Employees at IBM Japan Ltd. and Panasonic Corp. will also be interviewed, according to the LDP’s website.
In recent years, Japanese companies have started rolling out LGBT-friendly policies such as diversity training and benefits to same-sex partners, even as many in society remain closeted. About 7.6 percent of people in Japan identified as LGBT in 2015, according to an online survey by Dentsu Inc. The same report estimated that the consumer market for this community may amount to 5.9 trillion yen ($53 billion).

Goldman Sachs has been hosting recruitment events for LGBT students in Tokyo since 2009. The New York-based bank also reimburses Japan-based employees for the cost of obtaining national health insurance coverage for domestic partners.

“We need to first properly understand LGBT people, and foster an environment that eliminates discrimination at the workplace, at school and in society,” committee chairman Keiji Furuya wrote in his blog on Feb. 18. The committee will draft proposals by the end of May, he said March 2.

Committee Chairman Keiji Furuya
Keiji Furuya

Source: Bloomberg

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