Sapporo City to Recognize Same-Sex Partnerships from June 1

Sapporo City will commence its “Partnership Oath System” on June 1st. The system will for the first time officially recognize same-sex couples in the city. Couples wishing to utilize the system are required to submit a written oath to their government office. They will then receive a certificate and a copy of the original oath. Sapporo is the 6th location in Japan to implement such a system, and the first ordinance-designated city to do so. 

City officials believe that use of the certificate and written oath could alleviate difficulties faced by sexual minorities in Japan, for example when requesting hospital visitation rights, moving into an apartment together, or when applying for discounts on services such as health insurance or cell phone plans.

Some requirements of using the system include both parties being at least 20 years old, currently living in or planning to live in Sapporo City, and being currently unmarried. Signing and submitting the forms require an appointment with a  city staff member, but private rooms are available upon request. Applications should be directed to the city’s Gender Equality Division.

The city of Sapporo will also establish an “LGBT Hotline” from June 1st , providing consultation services for sexual minorities living in the the city. The line will be open on Thursdays from 4:00pm – 8:00pm.

Source – <LGBT>札幌市、1日からカップル証明 政令市で初


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