The Politics of LGBT Policy Adoption: Shibuya Ward’s Same-Sex Partnership Certificates in the Japanese Context
Keywords: LGBT, same-sex partnership, sexual minority, morality politics, Shibuya, Japan
This article will examine the determinants of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) policy adoption in Shibuya, one of the twenty-three city Wards of Tokyo, by taking an actor-specific approach to the first case of officially recognized same-sex partnership in Japan. How did the sexual minority issue become the subject of official agendas? How did actors both inside and outside the municipal government seize agenda-setting opportunities for government action? The results indicate that key policy-makers’ entrepreneurship played a primary role in the official recognition of same-sex partnership by linking policy solutions with agenda-setting opportunities. This analysis demonstrates that the adoption of municipal LGBT policy does not necessarily reflect the redistribution of non-material resources, such as citizen values, but rather resembles the patterns of welfare politics.
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