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A recent ruling by a district court in Sapporo, in Japan's northern prefecture of Hokkaido, has emboldened supporters of gay marriage and set a landmark precedent. (Photo by Yuki Kohara) 
The Big Story

Marriage equality in Japan: finally within reach?

In the only G-7 nation to prohibit same-sex unions, the mood is changing

RURIKA IMAHASHI, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- When Kazuo and Hiroshi first met and fell in love, the Beatles had just broken up, Richard Nixon was the American president, and Japan's Okinawa Prefecture was still part of the U.S.

Kazuo and Hiroshi, not their real names, had been inseparable since they met in 1970. They had nothing but "good memories," Kazuo recalled. But when Hiroshi developed cancer 10 years ago, they had resolved to fight it together. They lost that battle.

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