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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Kinema Junpo magazine announced the top ten films. Ryosuke Hashiguchi, a Japanese film director, won the awards for Best Japanese Director and Best Screenwriter and his latest film “Koibitotachi”(The Lovers) ranked 1st among the top ten Japanese films.

The 89th Kinema Junpo Magazine Best Ten Films was announced and Ryosuke Hashiguchi, an openly gay film director won the awards for Best Japanese Director and Best Japanese Screenwriter. His latest film, “Koibitotachi”(The Lovers), ranked 1st among the top ten films and Atsushi Shinohara, who plays the lead in “Koibitotatchi”(The Lovers), won the award for Best New Actor. Hashiguchi’s latest film,“Koibitotachi”(The Lovers)”, which is his first feature film in 7 years, was released last November. The film portrays lives of three people living with diverse backgrounds. Atsushi, whose wife was killed by a random killer on the street, still remains
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Group home for LGBT people will open in Nagoya.

Staff of “Kobo Dormitory” is making bed. “Kobo Dormitory,”which means “rainbow hope dormitory,” a private residence for LGBT people living with mental disorder, opened in Nagoya. The group home was built by those who also suffer from depression and other mental disorders in the hope of providing a safe environment for people living with mental disorders. “Kobo Dormitory” is sponsored by “Kobo-Kai”, a general incorporated association that supports LGBT individuals in Nagoya City. “Kobo-Kai” runs the group home and supports their residents based on Services and Supports for Persons with Disabilities Act. 6 people with mental disorders, such as depression
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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
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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
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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
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