The city of Sapporo has introduced a
bill that seeks to recognize the relationships of LGBT couples.
If approved, Sapporo would become
Japan's first major city to recognize such relationships and the
first to include transgender individuals, The
Japan Times reported.
The city's recognition, however, would
be mostly symbolic. After receiving a so-called “partnership vow”
from officials, a couple might be eligible for some family discounts,
such as with mobile phone providers or insurance companies, according
to the city.
Eligibility is defined as a
relationship where “either or both sides 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.” The city said it expects to begin recognizing such unions
At least three municipalities,
including Iga, Mie Prefecture; Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture; and
Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, have followed the April 2015 lead of
Shibuya Ward, Tokyo in recognizing the unions of gay and lesbian
Rights Watch calls bullying of LGBT students in Japan “epidemic.”)