News On Japan

A Same-Sex Couple's Story in Japan

Kumamoto, May 26 (News On Japan) - Living together for five years, this same-sex couple dreams of getting married. We followed their journey as they hope for a society where everyone can marry freely.

Takakura and Yuta, company employees living together in Kumamoto City, decided to spend their lives together. Their simple wish is to marry the person they love. They met 22 years ago in their late teens and started dating. Although they were separated due to school and work, they have been living together for the past five years and naturally started thinking about marriage. Takakura said, "We don't spend every day feeling special, but I feel like I can be myself the most now."

In 2020, they submitted a marriage registration, but it was rejected because Japan’s current legal system only recognizes marriages between a man and a woman. In 2015, the partnership system started in Shibuya and Setagaya wards in Tokyo, and now over 450 municipalities have adopted it. Takakura and Yuta are using the partnership system in Kumamoto City, which provides some recognition, but it does not have legal force, nor does it grant rights like inheritance or tax deductions similar to marriage.

Takakura shared their feelings in a local literary magazine about coming out to his boss about wanting to marry his same-sex partner. His boss praised him for standing up for his beliefs but didn’t fully understand the situation. Takakura reflected, "Just being able to say 'we are a family' is something that feels very distant right now."

The couple joined the so-called same-sex marriage lawsuit, and so far, there have been six judgments from five district courts. Sapporo and Nagoya ruled that it is unconstitutional not to recognize same-sex marriages, while Tokyo and Fukuoka deemed it unconstitutional but did not require legal changes. Osaka ruled it was constitutional, showing divided opinions. On March 14, in Japan’s first appellate court decision, the Sapporo High Court ruled that the constitution’s guarantee of freedom of marriage includes same-sex marriage, and not allowing it violates individuals' dignity.

The couple spends time at a local bookstore where Yuta worked part-time as a student, and the store owner, Hisako Tajiri, has supported them for a long time. She said, "They are like my children. Even though 22 years have passed, society hasn’t changed much, but I hope that one day they can get married like everyone else."

Takakura's mother also supports their relationship but requested not to show her face in interviews to avoid harassment. She believes that if society and the government recognized same-sex marriages, more people would feel supported and not ashamed.

In a world where same-sex marriage is legal in 37 countries and regions, Takakura and Yuta hope that one day, everyone in Japan can marry the person they love.

Source: 日テレNEWS

News On Japan
POPULAR NEWS

The long-standing seniority-based system in Japanese companies is being phased out. Many have considered it natural to rise with age, but there have been times when people desired recognition based on ability. With this deeply ingrained system now under review, will the decision by a major bank change Japan's corporate culture?

In a significant ruling regarding the estate of businessman 'Kishu Don Juan,' the court declared on Friday the will, which states that his 1.3 billion yen estate be donated entirely to the city, to be valid. Relatives had contested the will's validity, but the court dismissed their claims.

A controversy has erupted over the sale of high-priced premium seats at the Gion Festival. Yasaka Shrine's chief priest has expressed concern over the decision to sell premium seats for 150,000 yen each, stating, "This is not a show."

The Tokyo gubernatorial election was officially announced on June 20th, with a record 56 candidates running. However, the allocated poster spaces only accommodate 48 candidates, leaving some without a place to display their posters. As a workaround, clear file folders are being used, causing confusion at polling sites.

A rare 63-leaf clover, cultivated in the garden of Takaharu Watanabe in Nasushiobara City, Tochigi Prefecture, has been officially recognized by Guinness World Records this month.

NEWS ON JAPAN SOCIALS
         

MORE Society NEWS

Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako are embarking on an eight-day trip to Britain as state guests. They were officially invited by King Charles. (NHK)

Police in central Japan are investigating the possibility of a bear attack following the grim discovery of a man in his 50s found dead in a forest with claw marks on his face and back.

A high-profile papa katsu woman who earns 5 million yen a month has shared her insights following the resignation of former MP Miyazawa over a papa katsu scandal. In a candid interview, the woman, identified as Rika, 25, shed light on her two-year experience in the world of compensated dating, commonly referred to as papa katsu.

A hotel in Kyoto refused to accommodate an Israeli man, unilaterally identifying him as a member of the military. The city issued administrative guidance to the hotel on June 20, citing potential violations of the Hotel Business Law.

A steam locomotive (SL) driver at Mooka Railway was found to have exceeded the alcohol limit twice during pre-operation checks but continued to operate the train. The incident came to light following an internal whistleblower's report.

The Tokyo High Court upheld the life sentence for a former nurse accused of killing three elderly patients by mixing disinfectant into their IV drips at the former Oguchi Hospital in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. The verdict was delivered on June 19, confirming the initial ruling by the Yokohama District Court in 2021.

As temperatures rise and more skin is exposed, the incidence of voyeurism tends to increase. To combat this, the Osaka Prefectural Police have devised an innovative strategy using a simple yet effective tool -- mirrors.

With the new currency release drawing near, unexpected issues are emerging. This month, known as the season of June brides, sees many weddings, but there are growing concerns over the difficulty in obtaining crisp banknotes for wedding gifts.