LGBT activists in Japan have welcomed revelations by prominent businesswoman Kazuyo Katsuma that she is in a same-sex relationship.
As one of the nation's most influential businesswoman, Katsuma on Monday surprised the nation by revealing in an interview with BuzzFeed Japan that she is living with LGBT activist Hiroko Masuhara.
"I kept the lid on my feelings of attraction to members of the same sex," said Katsuma, according to a translation by the Japan Times.
"After I met Hiroko, the ice in my heart melted, although it took a few years," she said. "I hope this interview article will cheer up someone and trigger a change."
Katsuma has worked for several international companies including McKinsey and JPMorgan and her books on self-management and other topics have sold tens of millions of copies.
Fumino Sugiyama, co-chair of the Tokyo Rainbow Pride festival told Agence France Presse Katsuma's announcement "would have a great impact on society as she is such an influential person in business circles."
"It must have required enormous courage for her to come out," Sugiyama said.
Japan remains a largely conservative society and although homosexuality is legal, same-sex marriage is not.
A number of district and prefectures have started issuing symbolic "partnership certificates" to same-sex couples over the last few years, though they hold no legal weight.