Who are we?
‘Nijiiro’ means rainbow in Japanese. Since the establishment of Nijiiro Diversity in 2013, our organization has been encouraging diversity, inclusion and individual agency in the workplace. We are the first non-profit organization in Japan to take on issues of LGBTQ+ discrimination in the workplace and attempt to create change by providing research informational lectures, training and consultations for corporations, government agencies and academic institutions.
Nijiiro Diversity aims to create a safe and friendly working environment for LGBTQ+ people, empower the Japanese LGBTQ+ community and contribute to the creation of an inclusive society for all people.
Nijiiro Diversity’s vision is that people should be accepted and treated fairly in all workplaces without fear of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Through cooperating and engaging with the community, we hope that people will be able to better understand one another. We believe that a workplace that respects human rights, diversity and individuality is beneficial for society as a whole.
What are our goals?
- Help facilitate, create and support LGBTQ+ friendly workplaces.
- Inform the public about issues that the LGBTQ+ community face in Japanese society.
- Provide an interactive framework for Japanese companies, government agencies and academic institutions to create a more inclusive and accepting work environment.
- Provide community support for LGBTQ+ individuals.
- Homosexual acts are NOT criminalized.
- Same-sex marriage is still ILLEGAL.
- Same-sex partnership is allowed in some cities and districts. However, it is invalid outside of the registered area and even within those areas, it does not grant any legal rights as couples.
- Out of 47 prefectures in Japan, ONLY Tokyo Prefecture has the legal ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Legal gender change requirements include sex reassignment surgery and required sterilization surgery. Due to these cruel requirements, Japan has been warned by UN organizations and Human Rights Watch for human rights violations, but the laws still remain the same.
- The majority of the Japanese population supports the legalization of same-sex marriage.
- The number of cities and districts that issue same-sex partnership is slowly rising.
- In Osaka City, the most progressive district, 85% of the population supports district-level LGBTQ+ policies (Osaka City Survey).
- While it is very rare for Japanese celebrities and people of status to come out, LGBTQ+ characters are gaining more popularity on TV dramas and comics. However, most people still face difficulties accepting or even imagining that their friends or family members may be LGBTQ+.
- While religion in Japan does not have any anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment, deep-rooted cultural norms about the traditional family and a conservative government impede progress.
- Statistics show that the social loss by suicides of LGBTQ+ population reaches maximum of 5.51 billion yen (approx. $5 billion USD). (The Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training, 2019).
Nijiiro Diversity has been conducting research regarding the LGBTQ+ community in Japan and the workplace discrimination surrounding them. Although Japanese society is definitely growing tolerant of diversity, most LGBTQ+ people face discrimination on the daily basis. Please look at our newest report regarding LGBTQ+ discrimination in Japan!
Nijiiro Diversity Tackling Discrimination
Nijiiro Diversity tackles LGBTQ+ discrimination in Japan from these 3 areas.
1) Community Support, 2) Research, 3) Spreading Awareness & Providing Consultancy.
1) Community Support
As most of the LGBTQ+ population in Japan lacks support from their schools, workplaces, and local communities, we organize various events to support LGBTQ+ people in an effort to overcome issues together. One of the most outstanding amongst our activities is the establishment of the “Yodogawa-ku Community Space.” Nijiiro Diversity cooperates with the Osaka Prefecture Yodogawa-ku Ward Office, one of the most forward-thinking wards in Japan, to support and bring a sense of community to the local LGBTQ+ population. We hold meetings that are open to the public several times a month. Each week has a different theme and allows a safe place for people to gather regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
2) Providing Research to Inform
Coming out in Japan is extremely difficult and the struggles of the LGBTQ+ communities often remain hidden. In an effort to push for change in Japan, we feel that it is vital to make our research readily available to the public so that they can get a better understanding of the issues the LGBTQ+ community faces today. Below is the list of our researches and publications.
- nijiVoice (available online: https://nijiirodiversity.jp/nijivoice2018/)
- LGBT Guide for Workplaces (Jitsumu Kyoiku Shuppan, 2015)
- Transgender Workplace Handbook (JMAM, 2018)
- Introduction to LGBT and SOGI at Workplaces
- Niji Station (DVD)
- LGBT Speaker Skill-Up Handbook
- Sexual Minorities and the Bathroom Issues Research
(available online: https://newsrelease.lixil.co.jp/news/2016/020_water_0408_01.html)
niji VOICE is a nation-wide survey conducted over the span of 3 years (2014-2016 & 2018-2020) to record the experiences of LGBTQ+ people in the workplace. niji VOICE covers issues including coming out in the workplace, workplace LGBTQ+ policy, mental health and struggles experienced due to lack of LGBTQ+ inclusive policy on the local / national level. Between 2014 and 2016, we have gathered the voices of over 5000 LGBTQ+ people in Japan, and revealed that the LGBTQ+ population is more likely to face depression, unemployment and poverty, and that the absence of LGBTQ+ policies leads to lowered motivation in employees. This report is published annually, and is often used in academic articles and as supporting material to push for the establishment of LGBTQ+ policies at workplaces.
3) Spreading Awareness & Providing Consultancy
Using the data we gained through our research and experiences supporting LGBTQ+ individuals, we are spreading educational seminars and consultancy at corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions. We have provided LGBTQ+ educational trainings at over 160 major companies.
(Recent info of our seminars and consultancy updated here: https://nijiirodiversity.jp/category/report/lgbt-lecture/ )
Nijiiro Diversity Leaving an Impact
With increasing attention to LGBTQ+ related issues in Japan, Nijiiro Diversity’s work has been featured on news channels around Japan as well as had the opportunity to speak on television for the sake of the LGBTQ+ community.
Increasing awareness means that experts are necessary to further push for the next step towards equality on public forums. Nijiiro Diversity fully intends to be apart of that movement!
DONATE & FUND
Greeting From the Organization President
“I established Nijiiro Diversity in 2013 based on my experiences working as a lesbian in Japanese corporations. Because of the social stigma in Japan, coming out at workplace was never an option. I myself fell into depression and changed jobs 5 times, and have seen many others who suffer from mental illness and some even took their lives. However, since the establishment of Nijiiro Diversity, Japan has been rapidly changing. Still the majority of corporations do not have any policies to protect LGBTQ+ employees, but steadily, more and more corporations are establishing such policies after our educational seminars. There is the biggest demand towards LGBTQ+ organizations in Japan than ever, but LGBTQ+ organizations including us are still struggling to survive as the government barely spends any money on LGBTQ+ rights nor donations for nonprofit organizations is not in Japanese culture. We would love to take this chance to achieve our goal to make a society where LGBTQ+ people can work happy because we believe that a society where people can be true to their identities and share their difficulties is a society that is inclusive and comfortable for all. Achieving our goals is in your hands.”
Maki Muraki is the founder and leader of Nijiiro Diversity. Based on the struggles she experienced as a lesbian working in Japanese corporations and her professional skills as a consultant and licensed labor and social security attorney, she has built a powerful insight on how to stragetically tackle LGBTQ+ discrimination across Japan. She was awarded for Google Impact Challenge Award (2015), Change-Maker Award by Nikkei Woman: Woman of the Year 2016 (2016), and Rookie of the Year Award by Nikkei Social Initiative Award (2016). Maki Muraki remains an influential presence within the Japanese activist community. Her determination and willpower is the fire that is needed to spark change across a conservative Japan.
We are able to receive donations from overseas. If you choose to donate from abroad, kindly refer to the link below.
All donations will go directly to our management activities, research efforts and organization events. If you are interested in supporting organization please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org