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Tokyo: Two Districts to Recognize Same Sex Relationships

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In Japan, two districts in the nation’s capital have made history by announcing an intention to allow same sex couples to formally have their relationships recognized.

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The Shibuya district in Tokyo was the first to announce its plans, with the mayor of the district making a statement last week.

“We have decided to issue the ‘partnership certificate’ as part of our drive to create a society that respects people regarded as a sexual minority.” Mayor Toshitake Kuwahara said according to PinkNews.

This week, Setagaya, Tokyo’s most populous ward, has announced it will follow suit. Setagaya mayor Nobuto Hosaka reportedly stated that Shibuya’s action on recognosing same sex relationships prompted him to plan similar action in his district.

Both wards are now planning the establishment of “partnership” certificates that would allow same sex couples to have their relationships recognized.

In Japan, same sex marriage is illegal, with the Japanese constitution defining marriage as “a union based on the mutual consent of parties from both sexes.” The partnership certificates would not be legally binding, but would be the first symbolic recognition of its kind available for same sex couples.

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