June 20, 2015


Shibuya City First in Japan to Recognize Same-Sex Partnerships

Keywords: Diversity Resilience 

Image photo
Image photo

Tokyo's Shibuya City enacted an ordinance on April 1, 2015, which is being called the Ordinance for Promoting Respect of Gender Equality and Diversity in the City. This ordinance aims to create a society in which all people can participate in all kinds of activities and develop their individuality and creativity to the fullest, regardless of gender and the like, while respecting the diversity of individuals and sharing social responsibility.

The ordinance establishes respect for the human rights of sexual minorities, and, based on this principle, declares the right of the Shibuya City Mayor to issue certificates recognizing same-sex partnerships. Moreover, the ward requires its residents and businesses to fully recognize the partnership certificates provided by the mayor in their activities. Public enterprises and offices in Shibuya are further required to provide services in an appropriate and equitable manner, and to fully respect the certificates.

This movement is spreading beyond Shibuya to other municipalities, too. The Mayor of Setagaya City, for example, said at a press conference on March 6, 2015, that he would like to prepare to tackle this subject as early as possible to the extent possible as mayor. The Mayors of Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Takarazuka City, Hyogo Prefecture, also mentioned at press conferences that they would consider taking initiatives to eliminate discrimination against sexual minorities.