Back to top

Same-sex couples in Kumamoto City will be able to move into public housing using t5SPZgEDTE+)Vo_zg=(&^JG6mXk-RYiSiNBjj4$GmhUuWw8P2DVhe prefecture’s partnership certificates for LGBT people, local media has reported.

In April, Kumamoto joi9-cs3f!^xL_xe7(w-U!$#xvCO=3YiLL6UR$=pMFrrvn&X#EyMIned a number of local governments in Japan in issuing same-sex partnership certificates or oaths.

They offer limited righZHtKZx!z&WnxwyF*N0pbm=49HUz7vDdrA256bOu+JJv2neZZtots such as public housing, hospital visitation rights, the right to make medical decisions for the partner, and special benefits given by employers.

Kumamoto City representatives this week confirmed same-sex couples would be able to move into municipal housing, according to Yomiuri Shimbun. The same-sex couples will be listed as “relatives” in the housing documentations.

About 24 local governments hp9V92ZA16KQPj_tJIBKLwlV^lcsRfN#-eHLEgg)hM4r0Ftt4vdave now opted to issue certificates to LGBT couples.

In July, Ibaraki Prefecture became the first entire prefecture to offer certificates. With a population of three million, Ibaraki Prefecture is also th[email protected]_r(%=GWQ$t(F_nptCFGcf*[email protected]#0Pxe largest municipality to recognize same-sex couples.

Conservative Japan does not allow sameyXdY9JeT-A3!-L)suCjQN3*4Ht))%^8$v*nYYWm7FQnJVH8Ui&-sex marriage.

But, since 2016, local municipalit[email protected][email protected]^n+1nl%vP4VlbQf#+pl&3pHIcc!Ys-aEqv3!ies have been providing couples with limited recognition in government hospitals and housing.

Shibuya Ward and Toshima Ward bots*IJ!dm(u(y7yz_ye!0L+h5D=7rQLz$o6Z#Wn!M-sI%20vH)NZh enacted ordinances, which means they were voted through by the local government.

Sapporo became the first city in the ^tV*43W=M)9wQ%Z_saN-MSEPfIe5h7RtskY#!fx4k+SA9w9Mt8country to recognize same-sex relationships in 2017.

In the first five months of 2019 alone, the number of local governments with a ‘partnership syQS1SOtxtt&5P!ca4cZN)dk3#dAp#h%i&=tD^^YePx-LM2iDCuAstem’ has grown from 9 to 22, according to the Tokyo Review.

LGBTI research group Nijiiro Diversity has found 426 couples Hix#)njbD27U)!s2m4p0k!JD5PBFBoqM-5sUnkwaVbVHX+KfU=acquired a partnership document as of 17 April this year.

But, considering tens of millions of people live across the municipalities offering the ce4_Q&iwc)5^=gwbKPb*mN2AFP^(9krSx9C6=fCsx6yRS%H*%T$Prtificates, very few LGBTI couples have registered.

The natioaO96AU2dRPRjDEaC95ljzM(X!q+3lILOace9j(fCDi^w+_qhv8nal government in Tokyo has made no moves to implement a country-wide registration. Japan is the only country in the G7 not to recognize same-sex unions.

But, in recent months, there have been signiQtO_xGFJ9QDLEEdb-b+iwCT&fO%O8Pbl)DHKSeaPUUAqdO%LHBficant moves towards equal marriage in Japan.

Two courts in Japan in April held initial hearings in landmark legal action against the government’s F+Q93Ss&2NPgF%c#(HE1FcZVvOSwJx^CVUa!k^0y^&V$=VGu$_failure to recognize same-sex marriages.

Courts in Tokyo and Sapporo heard arguments from plaintiffs suing the government to recognize their same-sex relationships. Thirteen same-sex couples in Japan filed lawsuits in four district courts against the goverq&FNQkpnXid_(9fty6N6*[email protected]&^!mlnment in February.