i got all my sisters and me

Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward made headlines and had supporters of LGBT rights praising its progressiveness this past February when it announced that it would begin offering “partnership certificates”, which would extend the same legal benefits that married couples enjoy to same-sex couples.

While Japan may still be some way from following many Western countries’ leads and legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, the country is gradually making progress. Take, for example, KDDI – one of Japan’s major telecommunications companies – which has just announced its decision to offer their “family discount” to same-sex couples who provide a partnership certificate.

Most mobile providers in Japan will offer some sort of plan or discount to families who will need multiple cell phones for each family member. To prove that everyone on the plan is actually a member of the same family, companies will often require a juuminhyou, or government-issued certificate or residency from the family’s nearest ward office.

Once Shibuya Ward begins issuing its partnership certificates to gay couples this October, KDDI (the company behind the AU mobile service) will start accepting those documents from couples who wish to apply for the family discount. KDDI has also announced it will accept partnership or marriage certificates from any other municipality that chooses to begin issuing them.

It may not seem like an especially major step, but coming from a company as large as KDDI, this could potentially cause a ripple-effect through many other Japanese companies. There are also already discussions being had within Japan about allowing same-sex couples to add their partner to their life insurance plan. It is only a matter of time before Japan is on-par with the growing number of progressive nations in offering equal benefits to its LGBT community. Way to go, KDDI, for taking that step forward!

Source: NHK NewsWeb
Featured image: au homepage