New poll shows majority of Japanese support marriage equality

Many people support a change in the law, results show.

According to a new poll carried out in Japan, the majority of people support changing the country’s laws to allow same-sex marriage.

Fifty-one percent of people polled by researchers from universities and the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research back marriage equality, the Asahi newspaper reported.

Support for same-sex marriage was much higher in younger age groups, with over 70 per cent 20-40 year olds backing the move.

Despite this, the survey also found 72 percent of respondents said they’d feel “reluctant to accept the fact their child is gay.”

The researchers conducted the survey earlier this year, with 1,259 people taking part.

Earlier this month, two wards in Tokyo began issuing certificates recognising same-sex couples, in spite of a constitutional ban.

The certificates will allow same sex couples access to family housing in ward run residential property, allow family only hospital visits for partners and other legal rights that have previously been denied to same sex couples in the country.

However, they will not be recognised outside the wards, as the Japanese constitution still states that “marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has previously voiced his unwillingness to allow same sex marriages in the country because it would be ‘difficult’ under the constitution as it stands.

Things may be set to improve, though, as policy makers in the country announced that they will be examining LGBT discrimination in Japan in the run up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games.

Back in April, around 2000 people marched through the LGBT-friendly Shibuya district of Tokyo, to celebrate the city’s annual Pride festivities.