Japan has officially recognised a same-sex couple as foster parents, marking a first for the country and signalling a growing recognition of LGBTQ rights in Japan.
The city of Osaka recognised two men, one in his 40s and one in his 30s, as foster parents on Wednesday.
A teenage boy has been living under their care since February.
“I am happy we became foster parents [and recognised] as a single household, not just as individuals,” the older of the two men told The Japan Times, who added that the boy was now “living a comfortable life.”
The couple were certified as foster parents after the city determined that they “understood the foster care system and had the financial wherewithal to raise a child.”
The couple had submitted their request to be recognised as foster parents in late 2015. They had to undergo lectures, training, scrutiny and a screening by the city’s social welfare panel before they were certified.
The legal recognition comes amid what appears to be a society warming toward recognising the rights of LGBTQ people in the country.
Earlier last month, Japan updated its national bullying prevention policy to include protection for LGBTQ students.
In 2015, the Shibuya district in Tokyo was the first in Japan to recognise same-sex marriage, with the ward issuing certificates recognising same-sex unions as “equivalent to marriage.”