Starting in April, electronics giant Panasonic will recognize the marriages of its gay employees.

The Japanese company, which is based in Osaka, also said that it would update its conduct guidelines to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, Reuters reported.

Panasonic, which has 250,000 employees worldwide, said that as one of the Olympic Games' biggest sponsors it faced pressure to conform to the Olympics Charter, which forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation. The company said that numerous employees had also requested the change.

(Related: U.S. Olympic Committee adds sexual orientation to charter.)

The changes mean that gay workers will be able to participate in several programs, including taking special leave for weddings and funerals. Their spouses will qualify for the company's welfare program. Work regulation definitions for “marriage” and “spouse” will also be updated.