TOKYO — Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike announced on Dec. 7 that the metropolitan government is preparing to introduce a same-sex partnership system in fiscal 2022 that would officially recognize partnerships among sexual minority couples as being equivalent to marriage.
The plans announced during this year’s fourth regular plenary session of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly mark the first time for the timing of the system’s introduction to come to light.
“We will present the basic concept this fiscal year with a view to introducing it next fiscal year, from the perspective of alleviating problems in the lives of the people concerned and promoting Tokyo residents’ understanding of sexual diversity,” Koike said during the session.
According to the metropolitan government, Ibaraki, Gunma, Mie, Osaka and Saga prefectures have already introduced such systems. The Tokyo government is considering the details of services that people could receive through recognition as partners under the system, such as in the fields of housing and medical care.
The metropolitan government conducted a survey over the internet from October this year asking tens of thousands of Tokyoites about awareness of sexual minorities and the need for support measures. Around 70% of respondents cited the introduction of a same-sex partnership system as a necessary support measure.