Tokyo to recognise same-sex partnerships from November

The Star -- May 11
Tokyo will begin recognising same-sex partnerships from November after revising current rules, officials said Wednesday (May 11), becoming the largest city in Japan to do so.

Japan is the only nation of the Group of Seven countries that does not recognise same-sex unions, and its constitution stipulates that "marriage shall be only with the mutual consent of both sexes".

But in recent years, local authorities across the country have made moves to recognise same-sex partnerships, although such recognition does not carry the same rights as marriage under the law.

The metropolitan government plans to ask legislators to approve revising a local ordinance next month, and will then begin accepting applications for the certificates in October and issuing them in November.

The city is considering offering various services currently only available to married couples to those with the partnership certificate, including applying for city-administered apartments, the spokesman said.

Tokyo's Shibuya district in 2015 became the first place in Japan to begin issuing symbolic "partnership" certificates to same-sex couples.