Tokyo Pride celebrates emerging LGBT rights in Japan

Naith Payton April 26, 2015
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Around 2000 people marched through the LGBT-friendly Shibuya district of Tokyo today.

Shibuya became first part of Japan to allow partnership registration for same-sex couples this year. It’s part of a slow growth of awareness of LGBT issues in the largely socially conservative country.

Parade organise Fumino Sugiyama said this was noticeable in the public’s reaction to the parade.

He told Japan Times: “The mood is definitely different this year. All the flyers or other goods we have prepared for visitors are disappearing like mad.

“Since sexuality is something invisible, the issue of LGBT people tends to be regarded as non-existent unless they make their voices heard.

“The purpose of this event is to make LGBT people visible, but do it in a cheerful, funny way.”

Kazumi Nakamura married his Dutch husband in the Netherlands, and wants his the people of his home country to be able to enjoy the same rights.

“We’re not asking for the legalization of same-sex marriages in Japan so we can destroy something.

“Rather, we’re merely asking to create something new so we can be a part of society.”

On Friday, a couple became the first diplomats to have a same-sex wedding at the British embassy in Tokyo.

Politicians across Japan have made plans to look into LGBT rights in the run up to the Tokyo Olympics.

Last year, Japan’s First Lady made a surprise appearance at the parade.


Related topics: Asia, Japan

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