A support group, consisting of LGBTQs and their allies who ask for recognition of same-sex partnerships, submitted a petition to 27 local municipalities.
Those 27 local municipalities include 13 wards in Tokyo such as Shinjuku and Daito Wards and Hachioji City and Mitaka City in Tokyo, Yokohama City in Kanagawa Prefecture, 7 cities in Saitama Prefecture and Abashiri City in Hokkaido. (Please look at the end of this article for more details.) The group prepared the petition early and submitted it to be in time for the upcoming councils that will be held in June.
On June 4th, the support group held a press conference.
The group was launched this February by Ken Suzuki, a professor of Meiji University, and Takanori Hayashi, who had submitted a petition that asked for same-sex partnerships. They help people learn how to write a petition and how councils work.
Mr. Hayashi had been concerned about the fact that same-sex partnerships were not widely accepted in Tokyo. After asking Professor Suzuki for help, he submitted a petition to Minato Ward and his petition was approved by the council last December. The news encouraged other LGBTQ people who were concerned about recognition of same-sex partnerships as well. That’s how they started the support group.
“We need same-sex partnerships to achieve better understanding of sexual diversity and that helps us think again whether our old systems are really good for us,” said Professor Suzuki. “Japan has been solely based on heterosexuality, ignoring sexual diversity. Japan as a nation has expected all the citizens to be heterosexual and that their genders and gender identities are the same. As a result, LGBTQ people have been outcasts of our society. You realize that when the law tells you your beloved one is no more than someone you happen to know very well,” Professor Suzuki also said.
“We do not want something special. We want to live just like everybody else does. We want to be recognized as family,” said Mr. Hayashi.
The petition was submitted to 27 local municipalities in total after Professor Suzuki asked his friends and his followers on his SNSs to join the
group and to do so. He “hopes this petition will be a wakeupcall for a lot more local municipalities and someday make a difference at the national level.”
The support group sent the petition to..
Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo
Daito Ward, Tokyo
Koutou Ward, Tokyo Toshima Ward, Tokyo.
Kita Ward, Tokyo.
Arakawa Ward, Tokyo. Nerima Ward, Tokyo. Katsushika Ward, Tokyo. Edogawa Ward, Tokyo. Sumida Ward, Tokyo. Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo. Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. Hachioji Ward, Tokyo. Mitaka City, Tokyo. Machida City, Tokyo. Yokohama City, Kanagawa, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa, Kamakura City, Kanagawa. Iruma City, Saitama Sakado City, Saitama Moroyamamachi, Saitama Saitama City, Saitama Hannou City, Saitama Kazo City, Saitama Kawagoe City, Saitama Abashiri City, Hokkaido.