Same-sex couples will now be recognized by law in the Japanese city of Fukuoka. The municipality of 1.5 million made the announcement earlier this year and began to hand out civil partnership certificates to couples. The city, located on the northern coast of Kyushu, is now the second largest in the country to recognize a form of marriage equality with the largest being the northern island of Sapporo.
Gay and lesbian marriage in Japan has been a slow process, but slowly both wards and municipalities are granting equal rights. So far, seven cities and wards (in Tokyo) issue marriage certificates and grant some similar benefits to marriage like housing equality and hospital visits.