Japanese government homophobia, local LGBTQ rights support


This 31 March 2015 video says about itself:

Japan Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward accepts applications for recognition of LGBTQ couples

Another, 28 October 2015, video used to say about itself:

Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward on Wednesday began accepting applications from same-sex couples for recognition of their relationship.

The first such program in Japan, it grants recognition of same-sex partnerships as being “equivalent to marriage.”

The first to apply on Wednesday were a female couple, local residents Hiroko Masuhara, 37, and Koyuki Higashi, 30.

“Administrative procedures pose hurdles for same-sex couples, but I was happy because ward office staff welcomed us,” Higashi said.

Couples need to submit notarized documents that prove their relationship is based on love and trust. Shibuya Ward will issue certificates from Nov. 5.

Today, 5 November 2011, Ms Masuhara and Ms Higashi have received their certificate. This video in Japanese is about it.

Dear Koyuki, dear Hiroko, I wish you a happy life full of love together! And let us hope that the present homophobic right-wing Shinzo Abe government in Japan will be gone soon.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

First ‘relationship certificate’ for LGBTQ couple in Japan

Today, 17:11

A district of Tokyo has put a step toward recognizing homosexual couples. They can in Shibuya request a “relationship certificate”. Two women, Hiroko Masuhara and Koyuki Higashi, are the first couple in Japan that has received the document.

The two women see the presentation of the document as an important signal towards LGBTQ people in Tokyo. “I hope this is not just a step forward for Tokyo, but that all of Japan will become a better place to live,” said Higashi.

Better society

Shibuya is known in Japan as a relatively liberal neighbourhood with many foreign residents. At the train station was a large billboard that read: “We support Shibuya, pursuing a better society with a certificate, respecting men, women and diversity.”

The initiative in Shibuya has been immediately followed in the adjoining district of Setagaya. There also the relationship certificate was introduced after the announcement of Shibuya.

The government is not legally bound by the document, but it is hoped that the certificate will give LGBTQ couples the same social status as married couples. In addition to its symbolic value, the document according to Japanese media also has a practical purpose: it could help LGBTQ couples to simplify procedures in hospitals and in the rental housing sector.

In Japan, only heterosexual couples can marry. The Japanese constitution stipulates that a marriage can only happen if it is a straight marriage. Higashi and Masuhara say they are still dreaming of the day when equal marriage will be accepted in Japan.

This video, in English, says about itself:

Japanese LGBT Group Claims Not Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Violates Human Rights

8 July 2015

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations was asked to investigate the Japanese government’s non-recognition of gay marriage as a human rights and constitutional violation.

6 thoughts on “Japanese government homophobia, local LGBTQ rights support

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