TOKYO - A well-known Japanese businesswoman has revealed she is in a same-sex relationship in a surprise announcement cheered by activists in a country not known for its gay rights.
Kazuyo Katsuma, a 49-year-old mother of three who once featured on the Wall Street Journal's list of "The 50 Women to Watch" said she was living with Hiroko Masuhara, 40, a gay rights activist.
"I had kept the lid on my feelings of attraction to members of the same sex," Katsuma said in an interview with BuzzFeed Japan Monday.
"After I met Hiroko, the ice in my heart melted," she said, adding she hopes the revelation will "trigger a change".
Japan is largely tolerant of homosexuality but same-sex marriage is not recognised and some discrimination still exists.
Many complain they are prevented from visiting loved ones in hospitals or struggle to rent apartments because their relationship is not regarded as in line with social norms.