Japan City to Certify Common-Law Couples as "Partners"
Chiba, Jan. 7 (Jiji Press)--The city of Chiba, east of Tokyo, decided Monday to set up a system certifying common-law couples as "partners" if they submit a written oath.
According to the city, this is the first attempt in Japan at such system giving certification on the basis of oath applicable to not only sexual minorities, known as LGBT, or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, but also to common-law couples.
The city began soliciting applications on Monday, ahead of the launch of the system on Jan. 29.
The guidelines stipulate that applicants must be adults living in the city or planning to move there, with no existing legal partners. Couples can receive a certificate issued by the city after submitting a written oath and passing a screening.
The city is considering allowing couples with such certification to apply for municipal housing and to visit their partners as relatives at city hospitals.
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