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Tokyo recognizes same-sex couples and aims for social inclusion

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More than 200 local governments in Japan carried out initiatives to recognize same-sex unions since the Shibuya district of Tokyo launched this system in 2015.

Though does not imply the same rights of a marriagethis measure represents a welcome change for those couples who for a long time had no official proof of their relationship.

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Social inclusion in Tokyo

As of Friday morning, 137 couples had applied for the certificate, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said.

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“Through this system in Tokyo, I sincerely hope that we can accelerate efforts to create a society where the rights of sexual minorities can be protected and are more equal.”activist Soyoka Yamamoto told reporters on Tuesday.

“I hope that now we can access various facilities and services without having to explain our relationship,” said a young couple, for whom this is “a huge step forward.”

In recent years, Japan, ruled by a conservative party that embraces traditional family values, has taken small steps toward accepting sexual diversity.

More and more companies support same-sex marriage, and LGBTQ characters appear more openly on television shows. A 2021 NHK television poll showed 57% support for same-sex marriage, against 37% against.

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obstacles

A Sapporo court ruled last year that the absence of legal same-sex marriage violated the constitutional principle of equalitybut in June another court in Osaka ruled otherwise.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was cautious about the possibility of nationally recognizing same-sex unions.

A local mayor from his Liberal Democratic Party, Noboru Watanabe, came under fire last month after saying same-sex marriage was “disgusting”.

“Some politicians have made really negative comments, like that we are mentally ill”Katy says. But “families are not always made up of a mother, a father and two children. We have to be more flexible”he argues.

Although welcome, the new system has limitations: it does not recognize the right to inheritance and it does not allow applying for a visa as a couple in the case of relationships between Japanese and foreigners.

Source: Ambito

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