Same-sex marriage in Japan has taken another huge step forward with the city of Iga, Mie Prefecture confirming they would start issuing certificates recognizing partnerships between gay couples in April.
First proposed last year, Iga will be the third Japanese municipal government and the first outside Tokyo to take this step.
The certificate will allow same-sex couples to have the same rights as opposite-sex couples in hospitals, apartments run by the government and work with private companies, such as real estate agencies.
Referring to to an online survey conducted by ad giant Dentsu Inc, the mayor estimates that about 6,000 people of its population of about 95,000 are LGBTI.
‘It is our role to create a society in which sexual minorities can proudly live,’ he said.
Shibuya and Setagaya wards in Tokyo, became the country’s first and second local governments to introduce the certificate system in November 2015.
The city of Takarazuka in Hyogo prefecture will start issuing partnership certificates to gay couples in June next year.