Ibaraki Becomes 1st Prefecture to Recognize Same-Sex Couple

Politics

Mito, Ibaraki Pref., July 1 (Jiji Press)--Ibaraki Prefecture in eastern Japan on Monday became the first prefecture to officially recognize same-sex couples in the same way it deals with married ones.

Under the scheme, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, couples who submit "partnership oaths" will be treated in a manner similar to that for a husband and wife, such as when they apply to move into prefecture-run housing.

According to the prefectural government, two couples submitted their oaths on the day.

One was submitted by Yuri Namekawa, 32, an openly lesbian member of the Mito city assembly, and her partner, also in her 30s. They have been in a relationship for two and a half years and currently live together.

"I've felt a sense of responsibility, much like that of a married couple," the assembly member from the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan told a press conference after submitting her oath.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press