All About Japan

EMA: Leading the Fight for Marriage Equality


What is EMA?

Equal Marriage Alliance Japan (EMA日本) is a registered non-profit organization advocating for the social and legal recognition of same-sex marriage in Japan. Founded in February 2014, EMA Japan has seven board members including President Kazuhiro Terada and Secretary Akihiko Kimpara, who were both gracious enough to tell us more about their group.

EMA Japan works from the core principle that the whole of Japanese society should recognize equal rights for sexual minorities as well as guaranteed freedom and protection to live varied and fulfilling lives. Around the world, recognition of same-sex marriages has seen a major upswing among the most prosperous societies. EMA Japan fights to ensure Japan doesn't fall behind in the march for equality and freedom. Members of EMA Japan are very active in promoting marriage equality through several means, from lobbying Diet members to increasing public awareness by holding various events and disseminating information through the group's SNS and website.

"Though it's difficult to say how long it'll take for Japan to bring about marriage equality," says EMA Japan President Kazuhiro Terada, "we would like to see some progress in terms of recognition and protection of same-sex couples by 2020 when Tokyo hosts Olympic Games. We also believe that increasing public awareness and understanding of same-sex marriage regardless of one's political view (liberal or conservative), is a key to bring the changes."

Several surveys, including one conducted in April 2015 and another in November 2015, have shown that a majority of Japanese people already approve of same-sex marriage. However, unlike other countries that already have marriage equality, Japanese people are generally reluctant to publicly touch on issues related sexuality, making it difficult for leaders in Japan to take up the subject for a political discussion.

According to Terada, "It would be helpful if non-Japanese people could also raise their voices concerning marriage equality in Japan, showing the fact that there are already same-sex couples legally married in a number of countries actually living, working and traveling who also want/need social and legal recognition and protection in Japan. It should happen not only in Tokyo but also all around Japan including rural areas where same-sex couples and relationships are less recognized."

If you believe in marriage equality in Japan, please visit EMA Japan by clicking on the link below, or by visiting the group's Facebook or Twitter pages. You should also consider backing EMA Japan's activities through a charitable donation. It takes a village to create change, and all allies are invited to come together in support of marriage equality in Japan.