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24 February 2022 09:30-11:00 Tokyo (08:30 Hong Kong)
Wednesday 23 Feb 2022 19:30 NYC/16:30 California
ICAS and the Law School, Temple University Japan
Moderator: Robert Dujarric
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, headed by Governor Koike, has announced plans to introduce a same-sex partnership system during 2022. Tokyo is by far the largest prefecture (technically a metropolis) and the seat of not only the national government and many of Japan's leading corporations, media outlets, and universities. Thus, it is seen as a step forward towards Japan legislating in favour of major equality. After introducing its partnership system, Tokyo will be joining 130 other municipalities and prefectures in Japan which have been offering partnership certificates across Japan.
Critically, these partnerships do not bestow meaningful rights and obligations on couples akin to full marriage rights. Therefore, the campaign for full marriage equality continues in courts, media, municipalities and, ultimately and most importantly, in Nagatacho, the seat of the Government of Japan. Currently, LGBT community in Japan has no rights or protections under the laws of Japan – making the country an outlier among its industrial peers.
As of now, there are 31 jurisdictions in the world with full marriage equality, including Taiwan, which has close ties to Japan, as well as Australia and New Zealand in Asia-Pacific.
We are particularly happy that this is the third time that this trio of distinguished attorneys has accepted to speak at Temple University Japan on this topic.
Naosuke Fujita is a co-Chair and and one of the co-founders of LLAN (Lawyers for LGBT & Allies Network). Naosuke is a graduate of Waseda University Department of Law and University of Michigan Law School LLM. Naosuke founded LLAN following the coming out of his colleague at work during his time as General Counsel for Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd. (March 2009 to December 2019). Naosuke currently serves as General Counsel for Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan. In June 2017 Naosuke was awarded by Financial Times the Most Innovative General Counsel Award in connection with activities related to LLAN. Naosuke is the editor and author of LLAN's "Guide to Creating an LGBT Friendly Workplace", an introductory guide designed to help Japanese corporations take their first step in creating an LGBTQ friendly workplace. He often conducts lectures to universities and corporates to inspire allyship, diversity and equality.
Makiko Terahara is a partner at Tokyo Omotesando Law and Accounting LPC (2010-). Previously she was an in-house counsel at Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Co., Ltd. (2008-2010). She qualified as an Attorney in New York (2008), Graduated from the LL.M program at New York University (2007), was an associate with a Tokyo law firm (2000-2005),. She joined the bar in Japan in 2000 and graduated from the Law Faculty of Tokyo University (1997).
She has devoted herself to the protection of women’s and sexual minorities’ human rights. In recent years, she has focused on marriage equality.
Alexander Dmitrenko is a co-founder and co-Chair of LLAN (Lawyers for LGBT & Allies Network) and a partner at Ashurst (Tokyo). His practice focuses on compliance matters, including internal investigations, sanctions/trade wars, anti-bribery/corruption and human rights/forced labor. Alexander began his legal career in Canada 20 years ago where he worked on same-sex marriage and other LGBT rights cases. After completing his Master of Laws at NYU, his legal career was split between NYC and Tokyo. Alexander is an adjunct professor at the TUJ Law, teaching International Compliance and chairing the Japan Sub-Committee of the Advisory Board of the Center for Compliance and Ethics. He is qualified to practice law in the New York State, England & Wales, Russia and is gaiben in Japan. Alexander is also a board member of TELL and an honorary Ambassador for the beautiful island of Hachijojima.
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