A Japanese legislator is facing sharp criticism after he said that the nation “would collapse” if everyone became LGBT+.
Katsuei Hirasawa of the Liberal Democratic Party made the comments at an event in Japan on Thursday, with the comments broadcast by Nippon News Network the following day.
“If everyone became like them then a nation would collapse.”
– Katsuei Hirasawa
He told the gathered crowd: “Criticizing LGBT would create problems, but if everyone became like them then a nation would collapse.”
Hirasawa also said that he didn’t understand moves to legalise same-sex marriage in some regions of Japan, and lamented the country’s low birth rate, according to the Washington Post.
Anti-LGBT+ sentiment in Japan is often tied to the country’s low birth rates. In 2017, it was reported that birth rates in the country had fallen to their lowest rate since records began in 1899.
Mio Sugita came under fire for anti-gay remarks
This is not the first controversy for the Liberal Democratic Party. The political party is anti-marriage equality, and members have come under fire in the past for anti-LGBT+ comments.
Last summer, Mio Sugita, an MP with the party, wrote in a magazine article that same-sex relationships would lead to people marrying their pets.
“Why can’t we just stick to two sexes – male and female?”
– Mio Sugita
She also suggested that gay sex would ultimately destroy society.
Sugita also dismissed trans and non-binary people, writing: “Why can’t we just stick to two sexes – male and female?”
In the same article, she said that gay people should not benefit from public spending, saying that gay couples could not produce children and were therefore considered to be “unproductive.”
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The remarks led to a significant backlash, and the magazine that published her article was forced to close indefinitely as a result.
She did not address the comments until October, when she said that her comments “triggered misunderstanding and controversy” and had “offended or hurt some people.”
She said she did not intend to discriminate against same-sex couples or to deny their human rights.
Anti-LGBT+ sentiment in Japan
Sugita and Hirasawa are not alone in their homophobic remarks.
Tom Tanigawa, a lawmaker with the same party, also came under fire for similar controversial remarks about same-sex marriage last year.
In an online debate show, Tanigawa said: “It’s not that I don’t approve of diversity and it’s fine if women like women and men like men.
“But it’s not necessary to legalise same-sex marriage. It’s like a hobby.”
Despite this, Japan is relatively accepting of LGBT+ people when compared to other Asian countries.
Eight cities and city wards, including Fukuoka and Sapporo have legally recognised same-sex unions.