Osaka City Has Started Issuing Same-sex Partnership Certificates

On July 9th, the city’s first same-sex partnership certificate was given to a same-sex couple. Three couples came to receive the certificates that day. One of the three was the lawyer couple, Lawyer Minami and Lawyer Yoshida. The two signed the written oath of partnership and submitted it to Mayor Yoshimura. Finally, they received the certificate.

Along with the certificates, Osaka city now allows same-sex couples to live together in the city-owned apartments. The city is also in the process of making guidelines about same-sex partnerships for local businesses with an aim to better understanding and awareness in the city.

“Officially recognizing same-sex couples empowers them. I hope more and more people will be accepting toward LGBTQ people,” said Mayor Yoshimura.

“We will not hesitate to achieve a society where everyone’s human rights are fully respected, where everyone can pursuit their dreams and work hard to make their lives worth living, and where everyone is treated fairly. As part of this, we will now start issuing partnership certificates to same-sex couples. Same-sex partnership certificate is not legal-binding and allows same-sex couples to have access to the same rights as married couples’. However, it is still an official certificate that we issue with the hope that they thrive in our society. It recognizes them as unions that have promised to live together and help each other.”

Osaka city offers various sizes and designs so that couples can choose what they like. The official said they tried to make it user-friendly and better than other municipalities’ certificates.

Osaka city is Japan’s first city that recognizes same-sex couples among the other cities that have over two million citizens. There are seven local municipalities in total that have same-sex partnership systems in Japan. Approximately 6 % (eight million people) of the total population of Japan have access to same-sex partnership certificates now.