Third Japanese district to recognise gay relationships

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A third Japanese district will soon recognise same-sex relationship with partnership certificates.

The city of Takarazuka yesterday announced that it will follow in the footsteps of two Tokyo districts in recognising same-sex relationships.

As well as officially recognising the relationships, the city also hopes to fuel a debate on equal marriage.

The new certificates will be similar to those which came into force earlier this month in the Setagaya and Shibuya wards of Tokyo.

The mayor of Takarazuka, Tomoko Nakagawa, announced the initiative, saying: “One of the primary missions of local governments is to stand on the side of people who feel uncomfortable living in this society.”

Those signing up for the certificates will give a “partnership oath” to the city, giving their names and addresses.

Then a certificate will be issued under the mayor’s name.

Some services will accept the certificates, and will allow same-sex couples similar rights to their married opposite-sex counterparts.

Officially the certificates will begin being issued in March 2016.