Japan to recognize same-sex marriages from other nations

by on March 27, 2009  •  In Marriage

According to the Associated Press reporting from Tokyo, there is about to be a major first in East Asian recognition of same/sex relationships -

The Justice Ministry plans to enable Japanese nationals to marry same-sex partners who have citizenship in countries where gay marriage is legally approved, ministry sources said Thursday.

The ministry will issue certificates necessary for such marriage of Japanese citizens and foreigners, the sources said, adding the ministry will soon convey the decision to its legal affairs bureaus across the nation, the sources said.

The ministry has so far rejected the issuance of such certificates to Japanese citizens seeking to marry same-sex partners of foreign nationality as such marriages are not approved under domestic law.

For Japanese nationals, whether they are gay or not, to marry foreigners in foreign countries, they must obtain certificates from the ministry by submitting documents including their name, birth data, sex and nationality, and similar information about their marriage partner.

Under the latest decision, the ministry will issue a new type of certificate which will only clarify that the person has reached the legal age for marriage and that he or she is single.

"We were not able to get (the ministry) to forgo the clarification of sexuality. But I want to hail the Justice Ministry's decision as a step forward (for gays)," said Taiga Ishikawa, who represents gay support group Peer Friends.

Ishikawa said that Japanese gays were not able to get married to a gay foreigner even if their marriage partner's country approved of same- sex marriage, because the Justice Ministry would not issue the certificate." And without marriage they were unable to obtain visas for their partners to live together," Ishikawa said.


One Response to Japan to recognize same-sex marriages from other nations

  1. japanese words May 16, 2009 at 10:24 PM

    So basically it sounds as if they aren’t really gonna recognize it, but more ignore it.

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