Travel

Japanese lesbian couple take wedding pics in 26 countries where gay marriage is legal

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Japanese lesbian couple to 'wed' in 26 countries where gay marriage is legalCredit: Misato

(Picture: Mayu Otaki)

Japanese university students Misato Kawasaki, 21, and Mayu Otaki, 22, are in a relationship and hope to get married one day.

But sadly for the students at Utsunomiya University, queer unions are not recognised nationwide in Japan, meaning Mayu cannot propose to girlfriend Misato even though she wants to.

To protest the lack of marriage equality in their country, the pair has travelled to 26 countries where gay marriage is legal.

Theyve been crowdfunding for their six-month trip and documenting it all over their social media to highlight the problems faced by same-sex couples.

In each country they visit where gay marriage is legal, they pose for a photo together then share it online.

Japanese lesbian couple to 'wed' in 26 countries where gay marriage is legal Credit: Misato

Mayu (left) and Misato want to bring to light the lack of marriage laws in Japan (Picture: Mayu Otaki)

It is to increase peoples awareness towards LGBT groups. For me, I feel that people living in Japan seem to be not interested in LGBT topics, Mayu told Metro.co.uk.

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When I was thinking how to solve this situation, I wanted people to get interested in this in a fun way. So we decided to get dressed, take photos and upload them on Instagram.

Another reason is to show everyone that sexual minorities are everywhere out there. It is normal. Through this project, I want to cheer up a lot of people and tell them that there is nothing to be ashamed of.

Mayu explained that same-sex marriage is illegal in Japan but there is a partnership certificate that same-sex couples in 10 districts can get, but not in Ibaraki and Tochigi, where they live.

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So far, theyve travelled to 16 European countries where 29 out of 50 countries recognise some type of same-sex unions.

Theyve gone to six countries in the Americas, Taiwan in Asia as well as Australia and New Zealand.

I want to know the difference between Japan and the countries where same-sex marriage is legal, for example, the treatment towards sexual minorities or other minorities.

Also, I want to experience the atmosphere out there. So Id love to talk to many different people in the 26 countries.

In the future, once theyve returned from their trip and when Japans laws are changed, Mayu and Misato hope to open their own wedding company.

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On their crowdfunding page, they have set a target of a million Japanese yen (£7,300) to help subsidise their journey. So far, theyve raised 372,710 yen (£2688).

You can support their page here.

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