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Japan's LGBTQ rights progress with Tokyo's new partnership system

Certificates lack legal binding; advocates still call for marriage equality

Couples pose at a news conference in Tokyo after applying online for partnership certificates on Oct. 11.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- The waterfront Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo was lit up in its eponymous colors this week to mark another milestone for LGBTQ rights in Japan.

The Japanese capital began accepting applications on Tuesday from LGBTQ couples to recognize "oaths of partnership" and will start issuing recognition certificates from Nov. 1. The system applies to transgender and non-binary individuals as well as same-sex couples, but is not legally binding.

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