Nagasaki City to Recognize Same-sex Partnership


Mr. Tomohisa Taue, the mayor of Nagasaki city

On June 13th, Mayor Tomihisa Taue announced the city’s council is to give serious consideration of establishing a same-sex partnership system by the beginning of next April.

Councilor Akiko Ikeda asked the mayor to establish a same-sex partnership system in the city and he agreed to it. “Such system is one of the effective ways for individual diversity to be respected. It also helps LGBTQ people live in the city with no barriers,” said the mayor.

There are no local municipalities recognizing same-sex partnerships in Nagasaki Prefecture. The city is going to make an introduction plan of the same- sex partnership system based by thorough assessment of past cases in other local municipalities outside of Nagasaki Prefecture.

Fukuoka City started issuing same-sex partnership certificates this April and the city has already recognized 18 couples so far.

The city officials admitted that more than 2.8 % of the citizens had experienced unfair treatment based on their sexual orientation and gender identity according to the survey conducted last year.

In addition to it, the city was asked by a teenager to recognize same-sex couples last year. The city responded “we are also aware of the importance of recognition of same-sex couples. As it gets more public attention, we will give it serious consideration.”

It was reported that each elementary school and junior high school had one student who mentioned LGBT-related things. Toyoko Baba, Superintendent of the Board of Education said “I hope school teachers will pay more attention to the status quo and handle it carefully.”

Once same-sex partnerships are recognized, same-sex couples will be able to live together in an apartment run by the city and the official recognition will have impact on local businesses, enabling same-sex couples to get marriage leave from their workplaces and so on.

The city has done many things to raise awareness of LGBTQ people and their issues among the citizens. Some of the things they did are to remove all gender identification sections from official documents and to hold seminars to teach people what LGBTQ is. The city will continue these activities.

“some people are worried about their sexuality and that’s not something unusual. I’m happy about their decision,” said Yurika Gima, the representative of a local support group “Take it Niji.” Her group has contributed to the local LGBTQ community by hosting get-togethers and movie festivals. She said she is going to conduct a survey targeting LGBTQ people living in the city and continue the group’s activities based on the results.