Lesbian Politician Celebrates Her Same-Sex Partnership


By Azusa Yamashita


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■  'Married' in Japan:  Kanako Otsuji. (left) and Maki Kimura.
Kakejiku/Gay Japan News

TOKYO, June 6, 2007 (Gay Japan News)  –  Japan’s first openly lesbian politician, who is running for the upcoming national election, celebrated her same-sex partnership on Sunday in Nagoya, Japan.

Kanako Otsuji, 32, the former Osaka Assembly Member and an official candidate of Democratic Party of Japan for the next month’s election for House of Councillors, Japan’s upper house, tied a knot with her four-year partner, Maki Kimura, 32, who is working for Otsuji’s office.

Their wedding took place in Ikeda Park in Nagoya, the country’s third largest city, during HIV/AIDS prevention festival, Nagoya Lesbian & Gay Revolution, organised by Angel Life Nagoya.  Some 1,000 people including relatives and friends of both Kanako’s and Maki’s attended the wedding.

DPJ leader, Ichiro Ozawa, Secretary General of the Party, Yukio Hatoyama and Fusae Ota, Governor of Osaka Prefecture sent congratulatory telegrams on the wedding.

Kanako said in her wedding speech that the wedding became unforgettable memory in her life.

After the wedding, Kanako said: “Gays and lesbians are hiding themselves in society to protect themselves. I want people to know that gays and lesbians exist in society by looking at us (Kanako and Maki).”

Kanako was overjoyed to tears to receive messages on her wedding from DPJ top officials and the Governor.

Kanako and Maki are not legally recognised as a couple since Japan doesn’t legalize same-sex marriage, nor civil partnerships. Five countries -Netherlands, Canada, Spain, Belgium, and South Africa and Massachusetts have same-sex marriage law. Most of EU countries and some states in the U.S. have civil partnerships.

Official announcement of the Upper House election is July 5.  The election is scheduled on 22 July.

Kanako said that she and Maki have to concentrate on the Upper House election. She added she wanted to create society where people live differently can live together and she would think about her life with Maki after the election.

© Gay Japan News


Posted: 6 June 2007 at 07:00 UK time


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