Monthly Archives April 2017

How to have a blast in Japanese gay bar.

Gay bars in Japan are very unique. We, customers, sit along the counter called “Tomari Gi (a perch)”, and indulge ourselves in a good conversation with other customers and “mama- san.” (Japanese people call the owner of a gay bar “mama”). Gay bars are called “snack” in Japan. Japanese gay bars are usually very small and there are only 5 or 6 stools for customers. Big gay bars have 5 or 6 more stools but they still fill up very quickly. When you go to a gay bar in Japan, you will be served what we call “Oto-shi.” “Oto-shi” is
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Sapporo City to become first major city to recognize same-sex partnerships.

Members of Domestic Partnership in Sapporo Sapporo City has announced that it will establish a same-sex partnership system beginning in June 2017. This is the first of its kind for the major cities in Japan. NHK Hokkaido media report said same-sex partnership certificates will be issued to same- sex couples who swear an oath of their relationship and the city will recognize their relationships as equivalent to marriage. The certificates are not legally binding under the city’s ordinance, but same-sex couples in the city will be able to become recipients of each other’s life insurance money and receive family phone
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LAWSON, INC. is to improve its working conditions for LGBT employees.

LAWSON store staff cleaning up the street at Tokyo Rainbow Festival The Nikkei reported LAWSON, INC., the second largest convenience store in Japan, started a new team aimed at improving its working conditions for LGBT employees. The team consists of four employees from the personnel department and is striving to achieve a better understanding of LGBTs among all the employees. The new team invited experts in LGBT issues to its first in-house seminar and approximately 50 employees working in the headquarter learned a basic knowledge of sexual diversity and the issues facing LGBTs in the workplace in Japan and in
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Chiba City is to allow city officials with same-sex partners to take marriage and nursing leaves of absence.

The mayor of Chiba City, Toshihito Kumagaya. On November 10th, it was announced that Chiba City will revise its work regulations to allow its city officials living with their same-sex partners to take marriage and nursing leaves of absence. Same-sex partners will be treated as equivalent to married couples starting in January 1st, 2017. This policy change is the first of its kind for local governments in Japan. The city officials with same-sex partners will be able to take the same leaves of absence as heterosexual couples. When they get partnered/married, they can take a 6- day partnership leave if
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The Tokyo Star Bank, Limited is to become the first Japanese bank that recognizes same-sex relationships and extends financial services to same-sex partners.

On November 1st, The Tokyo Star Bank, Limited revised its term deposit policy and started to recognize same-sex relationships as family. Same-sex partners are treated as equivalent to spouses in some insurance companies in Japan , however, The Tokyo Star Bank, Limited is the first Japanese bank that recognizes same-sex relationships. Under their previous policy, “family” was defined as persons within the second degree, but from now on, same-sex couples are treated as family with the submission of an official partnership certificate issued by Shibuya Ward or Setagaya Ward. Preferential interest rates are also applied to same-sex partners in three
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‘Die Beautiful’ was awarded Audience Award and one of its cast, Paolo Ballesteros, wins Best Actor in the Tokyo International Film Festival.

On November 3rd, the award ceremony of the Tokyo International Film Festival took place and ‘Die Beautiful’ won Audience Award and Paolo Ballesteros won Best Actor. The film is about a life of Trisha, a Filipino transgender woman who dies after winning a beauty pageant. Audience Award goes to the best film that receives the most ‘like‘ votes from the audience. There were 16 films, in competition, chosen from 98 countries and regions this year. The film’s director, Jun Robles Lana, and its executive producer, Perci Intalan came up on the stage at the award ceremony. (Both of them are
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Osaka Prefecture issued administrative guidance to a love hotel that illegally denied a gay couple the use of its facility.

On 24th October, a love hotel in Ikeda City, Osaka Prefecture denied a gay couple the use of its facility and the public health center for Osaka issued administrative guidance to the love hotel. The gay couple said that they had visited the love hotel in early October but the hotel denied them entry because they were both men. The couple decided to consult with the public health center and administrative guidance was issued to the love hotel. The hotel said they would carry out discussions on future measures for same-sex couples. “It’s illegal for a hotel to deny someone
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