A local government ward in the city of Osaka has become the first Japanese district to officially support LGBT human rights.
Yodogawa ward, one of 24 wards in Osaka, passed a resolution recently after a consultation with residents on LGBT issues, including Hiroko and Koyuki Higashi, who were the first gay couple to get married at Tokyo Disney in March.
The resolution reads: “In order to make this city a livable place for a diversity of people, Yodogawa Ward respects the human rights of LGBT people.
“Therefore, we will carry out staff human rights training in regards to the LGBT community; disperse accurate information about the LGBT community; support the activities of the LGBT community (and) listen to the voices of the LGBT community.”
Yodogawa ward, in northern Osaka, is home to around 170,000 residents.
In Japan, same-sex couples are not recognised by law, and LGBT people do not have protection from discrimination. Some cities have passed their own anti-discrimination laws covering sexual orientation however.
Organiser Hiroko Masuhara said: ”This is our first attempt to link up with many groups” of sexual minorities. ”The parade is a symbolic event in the Rainbow Week programme.”
Disneyland became an unlikely champion of gay rights in Japan last year, by allowing same-sex couples to marry on its premises, even though same-sex relationships have no legal recognition in the country.