Second Tokyo district to recognise gay relationships

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A second district in Tokyo has announced that it will recognise same-sex relationships.

For the first time in Japan, a district of Tokyo last week announced plans to recognise gay couples’ relationships through “partnerships” certificates.

The certificates will be issued by the Shibuya district, which hosts many international companies, and is regarded as a business hub.

Mayor Nobuto Hosaka of Setagaya, Tokyo’s most populous ward, has now said Shibuya’s efforts to recognise same-sex relationships have prompted his district to do the sam.

Setagaya assembly members will vote on a measure to do so

One official responsible for drafting the Shibuya plans said they would encourage businesses and hospitals to recognise the partnerships of gay couples, despite the certificates only holding symbolic significance.

The legal recognition of same-sex relationships is currently banned in Japan, as the country’s constitution defines marriage as “a union based on the mutual consent of parties from both sexes.”

This means the certificates would not be legally binding, but are more a symbolic gesture.