Mayor Sakaki of Yodogawa Ward speaking at Kansai rainbow pride.
“Same-sex couples need to be recognized and embraced in our society. Same-sex partnership will possibly be a great chance for the local businesses to recognize and support same-sex couples,” Mayor Yoshimura said in response to the question asked by a city council. The mayor showed a positive attitude toward same-sex partnership.
On March 9th, the mayor announced that the city would recognize same-sex partnership from next September and make guidelines regarding LGBT policies and family services including same-sex partners for the local businesses.
Osaka City will be the 3rd city that officially recognizes same-sex unions among the 12 major cities in Japan. Approximately 2.7 million more people will have had access to same-sex partnership by next September. (It will be approximately 8 million more people when Fukuoka City is included.)
Osaka City has been known as one of the LGBT-friendly cities since Yodogawa Ward in the city publicly announced its LGBT-friendly attitude for the first time in Japan in 2013. Last May, Osaka City created a website to raise awareness of LGBT issues and officially announced that the city would make political measures for LGBTs. The city also released the result of surveys. It turned out that approximately 70% of the citizens had already known about LGBTs. In-house trainings and guidelines have been provided with city officials for better awareness of LGBT issues. Last April, the city allowed same-sex couples to be foster parents for the first time in Japan.