The Shibuya ward in Tokyo has become the first place in Japan to recognise same-sex partnerships.It passed an ordinance allowing officials to issue certificates to same-sex couples this summer. The documents are not legally binding but the ward is calling on businesses to recognise the certificates and accord equal treatment. Japan remains a conservative country but is seeing social shifts on issues such as gay rights. The nation’s constitution identifies marriage as a union between “both sexes”.

Beliefs regarding gay marriage have slowly change in Japan and there is more support for it compared to the past. Also, an increasing body of research has shown homosexuality in animals (

Change in shared knowledge over time regarding homosexuality has happened in the human sciences, ethics, the natural sciences, as well as in other areas. These changes are sometimes negatively as they are thought to undermine traditional values. The changes can also be viewed in a completely opposite way; the changes in shared knowledge regarding homosexuality are viewed positively since they indicate progress.


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