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George Takei hopes Japan will follow in America’s footsteps for equal rights

  • Rumbelow

    I love you George Takei (aka Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu)

  • snideguy

    Japan and Korea are not the same country. “Admit” and “say” do not mean the same thing. And your “disqus” comment system spits in users’ eyes by discarding comments during registration. How about acting like the major news organisation you’re becoming?

  • VP

    From what I gather the obstacles in the way of LGBT equality in Japan are rather different from those in Europe and America. There is very little frothing, angry, religious homophobia in Japan (the Japanese are among the least religious nations on earth, and their traditional Buddhist-Shinto ideologies tend to say very little on same-sex relations), and nowhere near the same level of homophobia in traditional ideas of masculinity and gender relations.

    What the Japanese do have, though, is apathy and Confucian social conservatism. Same-sex marriage is not really talked about – not because people find it horrific and distasteful, but because they don’t see it as something that affects their society. Same-sex relations are something to keep quiet and private – not because they’re “sinful”, but because they’re just not a part of what Japanese culture considers belongs in the public sphere. The Japanese tend to have a much sharper distinction between the public and the private than most Europeans, and certainly than most Americans. Public face is far more important to them, and far more censure attaches to people who air their private business in public than to people who keep nefarious activities safely hidden from view.

    So the problem is getting people to acknowledge that there is an issue at all, talk about same-sex marriage publicly and reassess their notions of what marriage and relationships mean in society at large.

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