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Tokyo Will Start Recognizing Same-Sex Partnerships But Still Not Same-Sex Marriages

The Tokyo government will start issuing proof-of-partnership documents for LGBT couples to make life easier for them but will still not recognize same-sex unions as legal marriage.

In an effort to support Tokyo’s LGBT community, Japan’s capital announced on Tuesday May 10 the plan to issue non-legally binding certificates to LGBT couples.

tokyo same sex partnerships union recognition

Applications will start in October and will be issued in November to adult Tokyo residents, including foreigners nationals living in the capital.

The partnership documents are not the equivalent of a marriage certificate but can be used to apply for private and public governmental services, according to Bloomberg.

In Japan, same-sex couples are restricted from benefits available only to legally married couples.

Governmental authorities hope to promote sexual diversity, “reduce inconveniences”, and “create more pleasant living conditions” for LGBT residents in Tokyo, according to the Washington Post.

Tokyo’s Shibuya district was the first to issue partnership certificates in 2015 and more than 200 municipalities across Japan have launched similar initiatives, according to activist groups.

Last year, a Japanese district court ruled that the country’s failure to recognize same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

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