Majority of Japanese Support Same-Sex Marriage, Poll Shows

  • Backing highest among younger respondents, Asahi reports
  • Shibuya Ward in Tokyo issues certificates to gay couples

A majority of Japanese support changing the country’s laws to allow same-sex unions, with the highest backing coming from younger respondents, according to a poll.

Fifty-one percent of people polled by researchers from universities and the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research back such partnerships, the Asahi newspaper reported. Support exceeded 70 percent among respondents in their 20s and 30s, while 38 percent in their 60s and 24 percent in their 70s were in favor, the Asahi said.

This year, Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward became the country’s first local authority to recognize same-sex partnerships and this month started issuing "equivalency to marriage” certificates to gay couples. While the move has helped build momentum for same-sex marriage, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and some senior members of his party are cautious on the issue.

The survey also found 72 percent of respondents said they’d feel reluctant to accept the fact their child is gay, according to the Asahi. The researchers conducted the survey in March, getting responses from 1,259 people.

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