Naha City is to introduce same-sex partnership certificates by July.

0223nahaNaha 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 council in Naha. Kuba Kengo, a chief of the general affairs department, said to reporters that “Calls have been growing louder for same-sex marriage. This decision will help a lot of LGBT people.” Naha City council is willing to complete the guidelines as soon as possible.

Kuba Kengo told reporters that Naha City will discuss the details of municipal recognition of same-sex couples with LGBT individuals.

In addition to that, councilors will discuss money gift for wedding, which is given to city officials who take an oath of same-sex partnerships(“Naha Rainbow Declaration”)

Naha City is the 2nd municipality that publicly declared support for LGBT people last July in order to realize a society where sexual minority can freely live as who they are(“Naha Rainbow Declaration”). Last year, Kubo Kengo said that “The significance of the same-sex partnership certificate is very huge to LGBT people” and claimed that Naha City would complete the guidelines within a year.

Along with the establishment of same-sex partnership certificates, Naha City is planning to allow city officials to identify their gender freely.

Kuba Kengo said that “we will do our best since we already said that we will support LGBT people.”

Ambassador Snøfrid B. Emterud, from Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo, will visit Mikiko Shiroma, the mayor of Naha City and discuss together political measures for the human rights of LGBT individuals. Norway is known for its advanced political measures for the human rights of sexual minority. The ambassador said that “Norwegian government cooperates with the citizens and NGOs. The government itself takes the lead and makes laws to protect sexual minority legally. The leader needs to show courageous acts.”