District in Tokyo Plans to Issue Partnership Certificates for Same-Sex Couples

District in Tokyo Plans to Issue Partnership Certificates for Same-Sex Couples

In order to raise awareness about the rights of the LGBT community in Japan, Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward plans to release “partnership certificates” to same-sex couples. Shibuya Ward is the first local government in Japan to take the bold step.

The draft statute will be included in the outline of the initial budget for fiscal 2015, which is expected to be presented to the municipal assembly session in early March. The proposal will take effect on April 1 this year once it gets the approval of Shibuya assembly.

Last year, the municipal government of Shibuya took time to hear the opinions of its LGBT community.

PHOTO CREDIT: Scmp

PHOTO CREDIT: Scmp

In a statement, Shibuya Mayor Toshitake Kuwahara said: “We would like to address LGBT issues from the viewpoint of aiming to realize a diverse society where differences are mutually accepted and respected.”

Difficult Life for LGBT

In Japan, same-sex couples face discrimination in different social settings. For instance, homosexual couples face difficulty in moving into apartments together. Moreover, they are prohibited from visiting partners confined in the hospital.

PHOTO CREDIT: Japan Times

PHOTO CREDIT: Japan Times

Although the certificates will not be recognised by the Japanese government, it will still be a big step for same-sex couples in order to get equal treatment as heterosexual couples. Also, the Shibuya Ward will be asking business owners to treat homosexual couples with certificates as legally married.

Eligibility for Partnership Certificate

Couples eligible for the partnership certificates must be residents of the Shibuya ward, and at least 20 years of age. They would also be required to sign a contract designating each other as legal guardians.

So what happens if the couple decide to part ways?

Like divorce, the partnership certificates will be cancelled once they break up.

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mmalabanan
mmalabanan 540 posts

Mini is a work-at-home mom from Laguna. Aside from writing, she's passionate about breastfeeding and homeschooling.

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