The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan is preparing to submit a bill aimed at encouraging understanding and preventing discrimination against the LGBTQ community. The move comes after recent discriminatory comments made by a former aide to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sparked public outrage. Kishida has since apologized for the comments and has relieved the aide of his duties.
In an effort to create an inclusive society that respects diversity, LDP Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi spoke to reporters about the party’s intentions to encourage understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill, which was drawn up by a cross-party group in 2021, aims to repair the damage caused by the discriminatory comments and was never submitted to parliament due to opposition from within the conservative LDP.
While the proposed law does not allow for marriage equality, it still serves as a significant step forward for the LGBTQ community in Japan. Campaigners have pointed out the difficulties faced by same-sex couples in Japan due to the lack of a legal marriage framework, causing issues with immigration, inheritance, and medical care. A recent survey conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun and Saitama University found that a majority of all age groups, except those 70 and older, support same-sex marriage. Despite the lack of legal recognition, local governments, including Tokyo, have sought to provide support through partnership registration systems.