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Is Japan making progress on same-sex marriage?

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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has denied that Japan is operating a system of “unjust discrimination” in banning same-sex marriage, dampening LGBTQ+ campaigners’ hopes for reform.

Kishida’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has long resisted calls to allow gay marriages. However, it is facing growing pressure to support LGBTQ+ rights, with a recent survey showing nearly two thirds of people in Japan back same-sex marriage. “I don’t think disallowing same-sex couples to marry is unjust discrimination by the state,” Kishida told a member of the opposition this week, according to news reports. What rights do same-sex couples have in Japan? Japan is the only country among the Group of Seven nations that does not recognise same-sex marriages or unions.

Because they are not allowed to marry, gay couples cannot inherit each other’s assets and are denied parental rights over each other’s children.

Numerous local governments across Japan issue “partnership oath” certificates to same-sex couples to recognise their relationships.

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