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Japanese lawyers to govt.: legalize same-sex marriage now

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Lawyers in Japan have asked the government to swiftly legalize same-sex marriage, arguing that the current legal procedures go against the Constitution.

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations recently submitted an opinion paper to the government. It began compiling the document after a group of more than 450 people submitted a claim for human rights relief to the organization in 2015.

The lawyers say the current legislation, which does not recognize same-sex marriage, ignores the freedom of marriage and equality for all people stipulated in the Constitution. They say banning same-sex marriage is a serious violation of human rights.

The federation is pressing the government to amend the related laws immediately.

Japanese law assumes that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. But a number of countries, including the Netherlands and the United States, have legal protection for same-sex marriage.

Akiyoshi Tanaka, who has a male partner, was one of the people who submitted the appeal in 2015. He told reporters he is happy with the lawyers' decision, and he thinks the system of marriage should be changed to fit the times.