“Why don’t we even have the simple choice of whether or not to get married?” asks Yoko Ogawa, who has been in a partnership with a woman for 25 years.
Her view is that the law must be changed so that same-sex marriages are legally accepted.
A campaign is underway to make that possible.
But opponents say that this goes against an important clause in Japan’s constitution, which they claim means marriage must be between a man and a woman.
You can read more about the debate in this week’s Japan Story blog.