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Tokyo to begin recognizing same-sex partnerships from Nov. 1

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Jun 18, 2022 1:56 pm Updated Jun 18, 2022 2:34 pm

Same-sex couples are set to be officially recognized in Tokyo starting November 1.

This comes after the Tokyo Metropolitan Government approved an ordinance granting individuals in homogenous relationships with partnership certificates.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government passed the ordinance, titled “the partnership oath system,” on Wednesday, June 15.

According to a report by Japan Times, the decree aims to increase inclusivity in the city and guarantees queer couples access to certain services. This includes the right to move into public apartments operated by the local government.

Application opens on October 11 and must be submitted online. LGBTQ+ couples applying for certificates must be 18 years old or older and vows to respect and be of service to each other for the rest of their lives.

The ordinance is not limited by nationality but requires at least one of the individuals in the relationship to be living or commuting to Tokyo for work or school. A certificate of residency is required for the application.

If the couple meets the requirements, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will issue them a certificate with their common names and those of their children.

Same-sex marriages are still not legal in Japan, but many prefectures, including Osaka, Gunma, Saga, and Fukuoka, have been issuing the same nonbinding certificates that recognize homogenous couples.