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Same-sex couples will get ID cards to prove their relationship in Sapporo

Same-sex couples will get ID cards to prove their relationship in Sapporo

Sapporo has started issuing same-sex partnership certificates. Photo: Twitter

One of Japan’s biggest cities, Sapporo, will now start issuing cards as proof of relationships for same-sex couples.

Last year, Sapporo started issuing partnership certificates to same-sex and gender non-binary couples.

It introduced the new ID cards for couples to use in situations where they are required to prove their relationship. Couples will be able to use the card when applying for rental properties or if they need to visit their partner in hospital.

Even though a number of cities and wards in Japan recognize same-sex partnerships, only Sapporo and Fukuoka give couples official cards recognizing their relationship status.

Partnership vow

Same-sex couples who can get official partnership certificates across Japan must do so in a civil ceremony.

In Sapporo, to obtain a partnership certificate, people must be residents of Sapporo and over the age of 20.

When they sign their ‘partnership vow’, couples receive their certificate. The certificate allows them some concessions as a couple but are not the equivalent legal recognition of a heterosexual marriage.

Either or both partners must also say they are ‘sexual minorities who recognize each other as a life partner and promise to cooperate with each other economically, physically and mentally in their daily life’.

Last year, a 32-year-old woman was one of the first couples to have her relationship recognized in Sapporo.

‘I was finally able to do it. It may be self-satisfaction but I want other people to use the system without caring what people around them think, because they can become happy,’ she told the Japan Times at the time.