Koyuki Higashi is slim, articulate and intelligent, things that make a would-be wife attractive to many in Japan. But Higashi knows she will probably never marry because she is a lesbian.
Participants carry a rainbow flag during a Gay Pride event in Tokyo's Shibuya district in April 2012. Some 1,000 gays, lesbians and their supporters took part in the parade.
Despite the increasing tolerance of gay marriage in much of the developed world, especially in Europe, and a gradual acceptance of the issue in more liberal states in the US, the subject is not on the radar in Japan or in many parts of Asia.
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