The same sex marriage in Japan
Lately, the same sex marriage is often featured in the media globally; along side with LGBTQ movements. In 2000, Netherland was the first country to legalized the same sex marriage in the world; then the rest of the European counties followed steps by steps. If the marriage was not the option, most of the European counties allow people in the same sex to legally have a partnership. This created a roar between religious people but after the Pope showed his support to this matter, the conflict seemed to be quieter.
In 2015, USA legalized the same sex marriage; this stole the headline in the news. Although, Muslim counties in Asia and the Middle East are not in rush to follow the same footsteps, as well as the African countries.
So what is happening in Japan, regarding the same sex marriage?
Here is some facts
The same sex marriage history in Japan
There are of relationships between the same sex people in Japanese history; thus it is not unheard of. The male oriented Samurai culture even had a name for the relationship. They often became step brothers so they can be together as a family.
Current marriage system was adapted to Japanese culture quite recently; it has been largely influenced by Western culture and religion.
Moreover, it is not common to Japanese people to voice their sexual preference in public compere to some of counties in the world.
There have been also some insensitive comments from government officials regarding to the same sex marriage like “the same sex marriage is not productive.”
From those reasons, legalization of the same sex marriage in Japan, has not progressed as much as western countries.
Current situation in Japan
In the Constitution of Japan, there are many clauses about marriage; some can be interpreted as agreeing to the same sex marriage and disagreeing. This is the main reason, some lawyers are currently fighting in the Japanese court regarding this matter. As a human right point of view, Japanese constitution is stating that all Japanese citizens are allowed to pursue their happiness in their marriage with freewill. On the other hand, the constitution also states that a marriage is based on the both sides of sex.
Currently, they came to a conclusion that the Japanese constitution is NOT forbidden the marriage between the same sex.
However, there is a law in Japan that when a couple gets married, a female family name shall be changed to a male family name. This is written in all Japanese marriage certificates. Thus, the same sex marriage is technically impossible in Japan at this moment. (Nov 2019)
From 2003, a same sex married couple from abroad can enter Japan as a married couple.
However, there is a report that Japanese/German couple whom residency visa based on their German marriage certificate, was denied by Japanese government in 2019.
At this moment(Nov2019), 27 councils in Japan support the same sex marriage; they offer their own certificates which state that in their councils, the same sex couple is certified to be treated as a married couple. The certificated can be to use for things such as the national insurance registration and a tenant agreement.
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