The word “LGBT” appears on school textbooks for the first time in Japan.

New textbooks for high school students are revised and the word “LGBT” appears in school textbooks for the first time in Japan. The new textbooks for next year will be open to the public and be selected by the end of August. There will be more descriptions on different sexuality and family forms in all textbooks of home economics and ethics for next year. 31 textbooks of geography, history, civics, and home economics will contain descriptions of sexual minority and diverse forms of family and 4 of the 31 textbooks will contain the word “LGBT.” Home economics textbooks published by
Read More

The winners of Gender Neutral Toilet Sign Award were announced.

PROUD, a LGBT-related group that aims to achieve a better life environment for LGBT individuals in Takamatsu City in Kagawa Prefecture, announced the winners of Neutral Toilet Sign Award on December 24th. 2 designs were selected by vote among112 designs. The group will ask public entities and companies to display the signs in multipurpose toilets in Kagawa Prefecture. Restroom access issues frequently bother transgender people. (Sometimes, they meet with severe criticisms when they enter a restroom based on their sex identity.) Even though they try to use a multipurpose restroom, there are no signs for them so they say it
Read More

Iga City in Mie Prefecture will start issuing same-sex partnership certificates in next April.

Soichi Yamaguchi who is the chief of LGBT group “ELLY” was handed LGBT’s opinion to chairman of Iga City Council. On December 25th, Iga City in Mie Prefecture announced that the city is going to start issuing same-sex partnership certificates to same-sex couples who submitted required applications to its ward office from next April. Iga City has worked on eliminating discrimination against sexual minorities and held seminars and workshops with LGBT people. After Shibuya ward in Tokyo started issuing same-sex partnership certificates in November, 2015, Takarazuka City in Hyogo Prefecture also announced that the city is going to issue similar
Read More

Democratic Party of Japan has made a decision to submit a bill to the Diet to eliminate discrimination toward LGBT people in Japan.

Goshi Hosono(center) who is policy chief of Democratic Party was joined Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2015. Democratic Party of Japan has decided to submit a bill to the Diet to eliminate discrimination toward LGBT people in Japan. The bill will be submitted to the Diet on January 4th, 2016. The legislation will ban discrimination toward LGBT people by businesses and local governments. It will also require schools to establish a counseling system for those who identify as LGBT and promote understanding of the issues facing them. According to the outline created by the DPJ’s working team, discrimination based on gender identity
Read More

Chiba City now shows a positive attitude toward issuing same-sex partnership certificates.

Azusa(left) is FtM transgender, and Tsubaki(right) is pansexual woman. They have relationship and acting for same-sex partnership certification in Chiba. On December 15th, Yoshihiko Kaneoya, the head of Chiba Civic Affairs Bureau showed a positive attitude issuing same-sex partnership certificates in responding to questions about same-sex partnership certificates in Shibuya and Setagaya wards, asked by Masayoshi Fuse, a member of Future Democratic Party For Chiba(Mirai Minshu Chiba). In the city council, Fuse asked Kaneoya whether or not Chiba City needs to start working on a new measurement to acknowledge same-sex partners. In response, Kaneoya said, “We need further discussions on
Read More

“LOVE IS STRANGE” offers “Couple 50% OFF” discount to same-sex couples. The first trial of its kind in the film industry.

“LOVE IS STRANGE” is about a gay couple living in NY who has been together for 39 years and the gay couple faces happiness and unhappiness of marriage when they decide to get married. “LOVE IS STRANGE” will be open to the public in “CINEMA SWITCH GINZA” and other theatres on March 12th. Regardless of sex, any couple including same-sex couples who are 50 or older can get the 50% off discount. That will be 1100 yen for each. This is the first trial of its kind in the film industry. In order to get “Couple 50% OFF” discount, either
Read More

IBM Japan, Ltd to recognize same-sex couples.

Atsushi Kawada, an openly gay staff of IBM Japan was honored as “Best of IBM” last year. On November 30th, IBM Japan, Ltd is now ready to create a new system, “IBM Partner Registration System,” that recognizes their employees’ partners as equivalent to marriage as one of their policies to make a work environment where all the employees including those who identify as LGBT can display their abilities to the full. The new system will go into effect from January, 2016. Diversity of races, cultures, thought,and gender is IBM’s source of innovation and one of the most fundamental parts of
Read More

Naha City is now in discussion to issue same-sex partnership certificates.

Right side woman is the Mayor of Naha City, Mikiko Shiroma. Left side man is a representative of Pink Dot Okinawa, Hideki Sunagawa. Naha City, the second municipality in Japan which made a declaration of its LGBT supports called, “Naha, the city of sexual diversity (Naha Rainbow Declaration)”at Pink Dot Okinawa in last June, announced that discussions are going to take place regarding same-sex partnership certificates which recognize same-sex couples as equivalent to marriage and introduce an ordinance for same-sex couples in 2016 or later. The city is planning to visit Shibuya and Setagaya wards which have already started issuing
Read More

Maki Muraki, from Nijiiro Diversity, received “Women of the Year 2016” award!

On December 7th, Nikkei WOMAN gave an official announcement about the winners of “Women of the Year 2016” award and Maki Muraki, the leader of nonprofit organization Nijiiro Diversity(Rainbow Diversity), received “Change Maker Award.” The purposes of “Women of the Year” are (1)to show role models of working women, (2)to shed a light on individual achievement which tends to be forgotten easily, and (3) to analyze the social changes those women have made. “Women of the Year” has awarded a lot of women since 1999 and marked its 17th anniversary this year. Probably, Maki Muraki is the first out lesbian
Read More

Takarazuka City announced the introduction of guidelines for same-sex partnerships.

On November 30th, Takarazuka City in Hyogo Prefecture, announced that the city is going to issue same-sex partnership certificates and set guidelines for same-sex couples, who submitted same-sex partnership certificates to its ward office, to allow those in same-sex relationships to receive various social services. The guidelines will go into effect in June, 2016. In Japan, Takarazuka City is the third municipality to issue same-sex partnership certificates after Tokyo’s Shibuya and Setagaya wards. It is the first city to recognize same-sex unions in Kansai region. Takarazuka City established a working group for same-sex partnership certificates at the end of last
Read More