Daisuke Tanaka(2nd person from right), the head of Nakano Ward participated LGBT talk show held in 2014.

On May 9th, Nakano Ward, TOKYO, announced its plan to officially

recognize same-sex partnerships. “Nakano Ward Partnership Oath” will start from this August. Same-sex couples are also able to apply for the certificates that ensure they decide their own medical treatment and how their property is managed.

According to Wataru Ishizaka, an openly gay ward councillor of Nakano Ward, here is the details of “Nakano Partnership Oath.”

“Anyone aged 20 or older who lives in Nakano or plans to move to Nakano can apply for the partnership certificates with the submission of a written oath, Voluntary Guardianship Contract and Statement of Mutual Agreement. By submitting those documents, they need to prove that they will take care of each other and share living expenses. The certificates are very likely to be an official certificate same-sex couples can use in hospitals or in financial institutions.”

Nakano Ward has a long history of community activism for the Japanese LGBTQ community. Not only did Councillor Ishizaka, but also other people working in support groups greatly contribute to the establishment of same-sex partnership system in Nakano Ward.

“We all need to think about what we can do to change the status quo that treats same-sex couples unfairly. We listened to them and talked to them. That’s what we did to make this happen,” Daisuke Tanaka, the head of Nakano Ward, said.

A lot of local municipalities announced their plans to start same-sex partnership system this year. Nakano Ward will be the third ward in Tokyo and 8th in Japan that recognizes same-sex partnerships.


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