TOKYO, Sept 28 ( - LGBTQ rights activists are hoping the Japan may finally permit same-sex marriage if Taro Kono, who has actually publicly sustained gay marriage, becomes the country's following prime minister, but adjust will not come easily.

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Kono is seen as the leading contender to success the ruling party's leadership vote top top Wednesday and become premier.

Of the 4 candidates for the Liberal autonomous Party leadership, Kono and also Seiko Noda have supported happy marriage. Same-sex marital relationship is only legal in Taiwan in Asia. read much more

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The fact that same-sex marriage, long seen together a social flashpoint amongst conservatives in Japan, is also being discussed in the management race shows exactly how much broader acceptance the worry has garnered among lawmakers and also the public, activists said.

"It's great that the (Kono) plainly supported same-sex marriage and it's far-reaching that this come from someone inside the LDP" during a leadership race, stated Gon Matsunaka, an LGBTQ legal rights activist in Tokyo.

Same-sex marital relationship is not legal in Japan, but there has been a gradual move to broader acceptance of happy couples.

"This reflects the degree that the LGBTQ legal rights movement has actually moved forward right here - same-sex marital relationship was just never elevated as an problem in previous leadership races," said Makiko Terahara, a lawyer who heads an organization that projects for same-sex marriage.


Japan's Vaccine Minister Taro Kono, who is to run to change Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, speaks throughout a group interview in Tokyo, Japan September 16, 2021. Kyung-Hoon

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Since Shibuya ward in Tokyo came to be the an initial municipality to problem certificates recognising same-sex partner in 2015, part 100 local governments have followed suit to cover end a third of the country's population. Together certificates recognise same-sex couples however provide restricted legal rights.

A March vote by the Asahi newspaper discovered that 65% sustained gay marriage, when 22% opposed it.

But in spite of the windy support, political change will be a various matter, supporters say.

"It's a very huge thing that he (Kono) is in favour, however if he i do not care PM will certainly he quickly make this happen?... I think that'll be type of hard," said Takeharu Kato, a lawyer that was involved in a landmark ruling that claimed disallowing same-sex marital relationship is unconstitutional.

Kono has additionally come the end in support of different surnames because that married couples and enabling heirs that female family tree succeed the imperial throne.

The timing and also careful wording of his statement says it to be a strategic relocate to capture support among an ext progressive party members, professionals say.

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"(Kono) seems to think the his best shot at success is gift the overwhelming selection of not just within the grassroots, but among the electorate as a whole," claimed Tobias Harris, a an elderly fellow in ~ the center for American Progress.