LGBT

Same-sex prostitution business technically legal in Japan, goes untouched by police

A gaping loophole in Japan’s already grossly outdated law means any same-sex oriented part of the sex-industry can technically operate with total impunity.

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Mini documentary discusses importance of Sailor Moon for 90s LGBTQ kids

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Queer Japan documentary Kickstarter reaches goal

Documentary features interview with manga creator Gengoroh Tagame.

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Son comes out to father in surprisingly moving commercial from McDonald’s Taiwan【Video】

Fast food empire McDonald’s took an unexpected, socially conscious turn in Taiwan recently when it produced a commercial depicting a young man telling his father that he’s gay.

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Panasonic to recognize same-sex marriages of its employees starting this April

Panasonic, the Japanese electronics producer and one of the Olympic Games’ biggest sponsors, announces sweeping policy changes.

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Equal Wedding Japan: Traditional Japanese-style wedding ceremonies tailored for same-sex couples

The new service offers traditional Japanese wedding ceremonies to all nationalities, genders, and sexual orientations.

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And now, a transgender Indian version of Pharrell’s “Happy” 【Video】

Dubbed “India’s first transgender band,” the Brooke Bond Red Label 6 Pack Band’s first single shows just how happy the hijra community can get with an Indian-flavored take on the Pharrell Williams hit of 2014.

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Japan releases results of its first national same-sex marriage survey

On November 28, the results of Japan’s first national survey about attitudes toward gay marriage were revealed. What kind of image did they paint of the people of Japan?

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Two Tokyo wards issue Japan’s first ever same-sex partnership certificates

Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward has been creating headlines around the world since the district first announced that it would begin issuing Japan’s first same-sex partnership certificates in the fall. Fast forward to this month, and both Shibuya and neighboring Setagaya Ward today issued their very first certificates!

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Japanese cell phone provider gives same-sex couples with Partnership Certificates family discount

Cell phone service in Japan isn’t exactly cheap, and if you spend a lot of time on your smartphone talking with clients, chatting with friends, or otherwise keeping in touch with the rest of the world, it’s not hard to run up a monthly bill in the neighborhood of 10,000 yen (US$84). Thankfully, Japanese providers offer a variety of discounts to help soften the blow, with reduced rates for family members being a huge help.

Now, as part of the changing societal concept of what constitutes a family, Japan’s largest telecommunications provider has begun offering family discounts to same-sex couples who present documentation of their union.

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Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward to begin legally recognizing same-sex partnerships

In a landmark move last February, Shibuya Ward in Tokyo announced it would begin legally officiating same-sex partnerships, giving gay couples the same rights as married heterosexual couples. While the movement, set to begin in October this year, has received some scrutiny, it has also seen plenty of support.

Now, in what may be the beginning of a domino effect, one of Shibuya’s neighboring wards, Setagaya, has also announced that it will be offering the same legal recognition to same-sex couples, beginning this November.

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Kesho Danshi: Visiting Yushima’s sublime transgender bars

Miya Inoue is the kimono-clad owner of the chain of bars in Tokyo’s Yushima neighborhood operating under the Kesho Danshi brand staffed primarily by transgender women. She also built the interior of the first location herself by hand, drawing on her previous work experience as a carpenter. As the “Big Mama” of Kesho Danshi, Miya spends her time managing the staff at three locations, chatting with customers, and, amazingly, remembering everyone’s name. Oh, and did we mention she’s written an inspiring book about her life?

If you’re looking for good conversation and a fun place to drink in Tokyo, you can’t find a much better place than sitting across the counter from Miya or any of the welcoming staff members. Click below to take a visit to all three of the Kesho Danshi locations and listen in on our chat with “Miya Big Mama” yourself.

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Japanese telecommunications company KDDI to extend “family discount” to same-sex couples

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.

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Taiwan’s capital city begins registration of same-sex partnerships

Most Asian nations, when compared to Western countries, have a relatively conservative mindset towards same-sex unions, but 2015 seems to be a progressive year for the LGBT community in Asia so far.

Earlier this year, Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward became the first ward to recognize same-sex marriages in Japan. In May, Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City took the first step towards administrating same-sex partnerships, and now Taipei City follows in Kaohsiung’s footsteps to become the second city in Taiwan to offer same-sex partnership registrations.

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Indian apparel company’s ad is making waves for being the first ever to feature a lesbian couple

In many countries around the world. LGBT rights are an obvious facet of equality, but in many other countries the struggle for progress is very slow going. Take India for example, which still forbids homosexuality by law, and anyone convicted can face up to 10 year of imprisonment with hard labor.

That’s why this short-movie advertisement by apparel company Anouk is grabbing so much attention for its bold decision to include a lesbian couple.

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Japan government hard at work trying to prevent Shibuya Ward approving same-sex marriages

There is less than a week to go before Shibuya Ward in Tokyo will begin issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples. If all goes as planned, April 1 will be a major milestone for LGBT rights in Japan.

However, in the days leading up to it, Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has established the “Special Committee to Protect Family Ties” which has just finished a meeting on 25 March to try to find any legal reason not to allow Shibuya’s version of same-sex marriages to go forward.

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Author Naoki Hyakuta’s tweets of politics, perverts, and pleasuring himself spark controversy

Naoki Hyakuta is the writer of hit books such as Monsuta (Monster) and Eien No Zero (Forever Zero) both of which were adapted into films, the latter of which grossed 8.76 billion yen (US$72.5M) at the box office. In 2013 he was appointed to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK’s management committee.

However, after a slightly tumultuous engagement with the high-profile company, Hyakuta stepped down in February this year. Since then he appears to be enjoying his freedom to speak more freely again on Twitter, and as a result he has already irked an impressive number of people in only a few weeks.

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Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward to offer marriage certificates to same-sex couples

Good news today for supporters of same-sex marriage in Japan! Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward is moving towards administering marriage certificates for same-sex couples. If the proposed plan is enacted, it would take effect on April 1 this year, making Shibuya the first ward in Japan to recognize same-sex marriage.

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Edo era Samurai were pretty gay

Recently a Japanese TV program highlighted an interesting bit of historical trivia: The most common type of revenge killing in the Edo period was between gay lovers. It’s a statistic that shocked many viewers in modern Japan, but there is ample evidence to support that a whole lot of gay sex was going on in the country from between 1400 and 1900.

It was at first a playful fancy of the ruling classes but then grew into a cold yet efficiently run military system of battlefield man-pleasuring. However, as we can see from the previously mentioned little factoid, once guys start letting emotions get involved, the whole thing starts to fall apart.

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LDP deems gay rights legislation ‘unnecessary’ according to multi-party survey

A survey conducted by a Japanese LGBT rights organization has been extremely revealing about the main political parties’ attitudes towards sexual minorities, and is something to think about for voters heading to the polls this weekend.

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