Uproar as same-sex couples to be counted as ‘other relatives’ in Japan census

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08/26/2020

A national census, conducted once every five years, will be held this fall to collect information from all residents and households in Japan, but same-sex couples are effectively excluded from it. When filling a form out for the national census, applicants have to describe the relationship between them and the head of the household. One of the opposite-sex couple can choose “spouse” for the information to be included in the tally, but a person in a same-sex relationship is classified under “other relatives.” Such couples and experts are criticizing that the method does not reflect the real situation and is meaningless as a national consensus. Questions such as ones asking about the working status of household members are included in the census, with the aim to utilize the collected information for policy making by the central and local governments, among other goals.

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