Iga City in Mie Prefecture started issuing same-sex partnership certificates. The first certificate was given to a local lesbian couple.

2nd right man is the mayor of Iga City, Mr.Okamoto. The center person in red Ninja costume is Soichi Yamaguchi. On April 1st, Iga City in Mie Prefecture started its new partnership system called “Iga City Partnership Oath” that officially recognizes same-sex couples as equivalent to marriage and issuing same-sex partnership certificates. Last November, Shibuya Ward and Setagaya Ward in Tokyo started issuing the official certificates. Iga City followed suit and became the third municipality that recognizes same-sex partnership in Japan. A memorial event was held at the entrance of the city office to celebrate another birth of LGBT-friendly municipality.
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Koizumi, from OUT JAPAN, and Ikeuchi, from Hotel Granvia Kyoto, received an award for “Ambassador” of The Year in IGLTA

Shintaro Koizumi(right side) and Shiho Ikeuchi(left side) have participated with IGLTA booths in almost all pride event in Japan since they were appointed to “Ambassador”. Shintaro Koizumi(right side) and Shiho Ikeuchi(left side) have participated with IGLTA booths in almost all pride event in Japan since they were appointed to “Ambassador”.Shintaro Koizumi, the president of OUT JAPAN Co.,Ltd known for its LGBT inbound tourism and corporate consulting, and Shiho Ikeuchi, the general manager of Hotel Granvia Kyoto known for its LGBT-friendly wedding services for international visitors, received an award for “Ambassador” of The Year in International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association(IGLTA).
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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
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“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
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Naha City is to introduce same-sex partnership certificates by July.

Naha City made a declaration of its LGBT supports called, “Naha, the city of sexual diversity (Naha Rainbow Declaration)”at Pink Dot Okinawa in last June Last December, we told you Naha City started its discussion on same-sex partnerships and it is now trying to complete guidelines for issuing same- sex partnership certificates by July this year. Naha City will be the 5th municipality that recognizes same-sex couples in Japan. (The other municipalities are Setagaya and Shibuya wards in Tokyo, Iga City in Mie Prefecture, Takarazuka City in Hyogo Prefecture.) The decision was made in a regular session of the city
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Japan Airlines now recognizes same-sex couples as family and miles benefits are available.

Japan Airlines announced that it will extend its special bonus of “JAL Mileage Bank” to same-sex partners and allow same-sex couples to receive the bonus. Only family members of customers could register for “JAL Mileage Bank” and receive its bonus, but now same-sex partners, who has same-sex partnership certificates issued by their local government, can do the same. This great news was spread by an openly transgender councilor in Setagaya ward, Aya Uekawa, on February 18th. On her twitter account, she said that “If you show your partnership certificate to JAL, it will recognize you as family and you can
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Panasonic plans to change its company rules and recognize same-sex couples as equivalent to married.

On February 28th, Panasonic announced that it is planning to change its company rules and recognize same-sex couples as equivalent to married. This change will extend its company benefits to same-sex couples. Panasonic will amend its company rules in April and clearly show its willingness to treat its employees regardless of their sexual identity and orientation. This will affect approximately 250,000 employees working domestically and internationally. Panasonic’s company rules say “It will respect basic human rights of its employees and any discriminatory treatment will not be tolerated.” Panasonic will add to its rules “any discriminatory treatment regarding sexual identity and
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Iga City, Mie Prefecture, officially introduces same-sex partnership certificates. The third municipality to recognize same-sex couples in Japan.

Iga city has been famous for Igaueno castle and Ninja. From now on, Iga goes down in history as 3rd city in Japan which recognized same-sex partnership. On February 16th, Iga City, Mie Prefecture, announced that they officially will start recognizing same-sex couples as equivalent to marriage in April. Iga City is now the third municipality to recognize same-sex couples. Last year, Shibuya and Setagaya wards also introduced same-sex partnership certificates. Iga City now aims to raise the awareness of sexual minority and show respect to their human rights. Iga City introduced a system similar to Setagaya ward’s. Same-sex couples
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“FC Ryukyu” adopts a rainbow-colored uniform.

A J3 soccer team based in Okinawa called”FC Ryukyu” adopted a new uniform with a rainbow-colored left sleeve. It is the first attempt to show acceptance and understanding of LGBT people among all Japanese sport teams. On February 12th, “FC Ryukyu” announced 5 new players and showed the team’s new uniform in Naha City, Okinawa. midfielder Juan, forward Pablo, forward Leonard, defender Shuhei, Takizawa, and defender Katsuhiro Hamada, who officially joined the team last January, attended the press conference. Mr. Takizawa and Mr. Hamada were wearing the new uniform with a rainbow-colored left sleeve. A big rainbow flag and the
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Japanese style wedding ceremony is now available to international same- sex couples.

Ahsh Inc., a wedding company in Osaka started their new service “Equal Wedding Japan” that offers Japanese style wedding ceremony to international same-sex couples. Ahsh Inc. provides international same-sex couples and transgender couples with a variety of Japanese traditional wedding clothes. International same-sex-couples and transgender couples are able to hold a wedding ceremony in places such as a Japanese traditional house in Kyoto, a Nohgaku stage, a Japanese style shrine in a hotel, and Toei Kyoto Studio Park. All the procedures will be taken care of by English-speaking assistants. On Ahsh Inc.’s website, you can see great pictures of same-sex
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