Two women from Japan are planning to travel around the world staging wedding ceremonies in countries where same-sex marriage is legal in order to bring awareness of the issue in their home country.

21-year-old Misato Kawasaki and 22 year old and Mayu Otaki, both university students at Utsunomiya University, have been together since 2017, reports The Asahi Shimbun.

The campaign, dubbed ‘26-time wedding’, will see the couple travel to 26 countries over the course of six months to stage wedding photos, interview LGBTI Japanese expats who have emigrated to that country in order to marry, and engage with local LGBTI communities and research.

“I want to show through our wedding photos that being lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) is normal so that those who are troubled by their sexual status can harbor hope,” Kawasaki said.

The idea for the campaign came several months into their relationship when Kawasaki asked Otaki, “Will you stay with me forever?”

Kawasaki wanted to ask Otaki to marry her, but didn’t because it’s not yet legal for them to do so, which fuelled the desire to try make that change.

The central purpose of the project is to bring better awareness and understanding of LGBTI people in Japan, the two of them believing that positive representation and an entertaining narrative will garner the attention of people who may not be aware of any openly LGBTI people in their life, let alone the campaign for marriage equality.

“We are involved in activities while showing our names and faces so that people will get interested in us,” said Otaki, who is openly pansexual, while Kawasaki is an out lesbian.

“We have no reason to conceal (our personal information).”

The couple are attempting to partially crowd fund their trip, set to kick off with a flight to the UK in March, and have so far raised ¥331,000 of their ¥1,000,000 goal.

Their whirlwind tour will eventually conclude in September with the final legs seeing them visiting Australia, Taiwan, and then home, where they plan to present the information they gather to the Japanese public.

Taiwan suffered a setback in their campaign for same-sex marriage in November when a referendum failed to gain support for changes to the law, but marriage equality is still expected to come fruition some time this year after not allowing LGBTI couples to marry was deemed unconstitutional in 2017.

You can keep up with their campaign on their official Instagram page.

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