Japan is the only G7 country which does not recognise same-sex unions. But this week, its capital Tokyo began rolling out a partnership certificate scheme. It allows same-sex couples to be treated as married couples for certain public services, this for the first time. Those services include housing, medicine and welfare. To analyse how big a victory this is for same-sex couples, we're joined by Olivier Fabre, a member of a LGBTQ+ advocacy group in Japan.
Meanwhile, as Covid-19 spreads in China, fear and panic are also on the rise. As cases continue to climb, authorities are doubling down on their draconian zero Covid policy. Endless curbs have hit the economy hard and fuelled unhappiness. Images are increasingly popping up on social media of people being trapped outside their homes, unable to return until they can produce a negative test. People have also been fleeing offices, shops and amusement parks to avoid lockdowns.
Not long ago, Thailand had some of the strictest drug policies in the world. But back in June, it became the first Asian nation to legalise marijuana. Advocates say the easing effectively decriminalises the drug, but personal use for non-medical reasons is still heavily discouraged by the government. This situation has left something of a legal grey area that many are rushing to take advantage of. Our correspondents Constantin Simon and Chakkrit Jumsai na Ayudhya report from Bangkok and the Thai countryside.
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