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Japan’s second city to recognize gay couples

Japan’s second city to recognize gay couples

The mayor of Yokohama, Japan’s second largest city, has said a Tokyo ward’s draft ordinance to recognize gay couples had galvanized her to introduce similar measures.

Fumiko Hayashi yesterday hailed Shibuya’s plan to issue certificates recognizing gay relationships as equivalent to marriages as a ‘very good move.’

‘I instructed officials (in charge of sexual minority issues) to make clear the challenges (facing the same-sex couples) to figure out what form of support is desirable for the couples,’ she told reporters.

If the Shibuya assembly approves the draft in March, the ward will become the first government in Japan to recognize gay couples.

Hayashi also called on the conservative country to accept gay couples for the sake of the country’s ailling economy.

‘There are many same-sex couples with a strong bond between them,’ she said.

‘For the sake of revving up Japan’s economy, it is important for us to accept the couples in our society.’

Yokohama’s human rights policy says ‘it is necessary to understand same-sex relationships properly and eliminate discrimination against them.’