- by Aaron Shepard
News Brief: Japanese City Becomes the Largest to Recognize Same-Sex Relationships
The Japanese city of Sapporo has become the latest to recognize same-sex relationships. With a population of nearly two million, it will become the largest in the country to issue formal recognition to same-sex couples.
Earlier this year, the city of Iga began the process of issuing certificates to same-sex couples as did the Shibuya and Setagaya wards in Tokyo.
Sapporo, located in the north of the country, announced plans that will provide same-sex couples with documents recognizing their relationship, providing they swear an oath to each other. Although the local authority will issue the documents, they will not be legally binding as they Japanese government does not recognize same-sex marriage. It is believed that the documents should, however, allow for couples to buy family plans on things such as life insurance.
Support for same-sex relationships has been growing steadily in Japan over recent years with a poll last year suggesting the majority of people were now in favor of marriage equality. Many businesses in the country, such as Panasonic, have even started to adopt policies to recognize same-sex partners for benefits such as health insurance and pensions.