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Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade celebrates advances in LGBTQ rights

36 Comments
By Elaine Lies

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@naba

You said you are a gay man, but in another comment that you have a wife and kids.

Sounds complicated, good luck!

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Equal rights, equal people.

8 ( +25 / -17 )

Not to mention, THIS picture doesnt even have, leastwise to my eyes, even 1 person waving a rainbow flag.

You may need to pay a trip to the optometrist. I can see at least a dozen.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

I hate when people start talking about respecting other cultures when it comes to this issue. This is not about allowing some kind of western side hobby in Japan. people just don't turn out gay because it becomes accepted, gay people exists in the same amount all over the world, just many can't or don't want to tell anyone about it because of how they will be treated.

People only talk about respecting other countries cultures about this matter because they feel it's a choice and not the way they were born, I don't imagine you would say the same if Japan singled out one race and said that they don't culturally accept them to be the same class of human as other races.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

"Japan is really far behind ... We will fight until the entire country has same-sex marriage," said Himama, sporting a pink-dyed goatee and declining to give his real name out of consideration for family members.

Does this one quote, paragraph, not exemplify, paraphrase the incongruity that Himama ultimate struggle will have to overcome.

I am not condemning or denouncing Himama, just pointing out the dilemma that declining to give his real name out of consideration for family members represents.

The need to conceal ones identity to spare the perceived ignominy to family members displays the task ahead to change public opinion.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

GAY parades have existed in many countries since the 1970s. Celebrating being GAY seems alright with me. Nothing to do with "woke".

4 ( +14 / -10 )

One thing to keep in mind, the J voting silent majority will not be cajoled or bounced into legally recognizing same-sex marriage a change of this nature will require patience.

In fact forcing such action could harden opinion.

2 ( +21 / -19 )

Or would you prefer to live in the traditional Japan where international/interracial marriage was a social taboo?

The mean spirits on view in many of these comments shouldn’t surprise me, but do. How does it hurt anybody to let people marry whom they love? Especially since I’d venture to guess many of these commenters may be in what were known as “mixed” marriages - that were frowned on - in the past?

2 ( +14 / -12 )

Circumstances in each country are different.

This is the old "Japan is a completely unique country so other countries can't tell us what to do" excuse. But the circumstances are not really different. There are gay couples who want to get married. They fought for that in other countries and in Japan they are still fighting for it.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

I have huge respect to Fumino Sugiyama who is in the front of this parade leading this transformation in Japan. I had a chance to talk to him once I joined a litter picking event in Shinjuku Kabuki-Cho. He is not only great leading diversity but also a wonderful person to talk with. I love his belief: “Be honest to yourself and live your life”

1 ( +20 / -19 )

Pride? Why pride?

Proud of what? Should I be proud of my heterosexuality?

Nothing to be proud of...

Also nothing to be ashamed of...

1 ( +19 / -18 )

The aim of the gay movement in Japan is different from the West. Japan has never been Christianized, so there is no thinking that homosexuality is an evil sin. The problem here is that there is no idea of a homosexual. A guys father would say "Stop playing around! Get serious, find a woman, and get married". One of the goals of the gay movement is to educate. There is a type of person that is attracted to the same sex. This is not a choice, but we are born that way.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

I was at the gathering in Yoyogi Park today. There was the huge crowd of gays and their straight friends. I guess what most surprised me was that there were lots of kids there. That is good but unexpected. I think they were the kids of straight couples, but I'm not sure. I know that there are gay couples with kids.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

voiceofokinawaToday 12:45 pm JST

A placard carried by one demonstrator of the couple shown in the attached photo reads: “She is my wife in the U.S. but just a friend in Japan.” 

I really can’t make out why this case of Japan's amounts to discrimination against LGBTQ or same sex marriage.

What I want to point out here is that there is a way more urgent and acute problem in Japan than the LGBTQ issue that should be addressed.

Well, for one this is apples and oranges - these are two completely unrelated issues.

And for another, because we can care about two things at once. It doesn't have to be one or the other; it can be both.

I guessing you brought this up because you personally this issue is more important. That's fine; you can feel that way. But the question is not "why should we care about LGBTQIA when there is this problem in Okinawa" - you can't dismiss what others feel is important to them just because it's not important to you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm happy to live in traditional Japan.

Well, which tradition are you choosing from? The one some like to tout that Japan was once very liberal about homosexuality - at least among the upper classes - or the one where it was reluctant to recognise it even existed?

0 ( +12 / -12 )

don't care

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Always nice to see a rainbow.

In contrast, a couple of million turned out to vote and cement LDP positions in the Diet, so looking forward to seeing more of these parades in the years to come.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Okinawa's land mass accounts for only 0.6% of Japan as a whole. Shouldn't this discrimination against Okinawa be straightened out right away more than anything else?

No because it is not discrimination when Okinawa is receiving favorable treatment from being able to host those bases.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From that perspective, they can be discussed on the same table.

But why? There's no other connection than "discrimination." I mean, we can put all kinds of issues under the umbrella of discrimination, can't we. Why didn't you complain, for example, that an article on LGBTQIA doesn't mention discrimination against women, POC, Jewish peoples .... and on and on.

What's the point?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Fighto!Apr. 23  05:12 pm JST

The Japanese people are not going to be pressured by marches and narrow-minded campaigns. They will decide on the issue of constitutional changes to marriage, inheritance and children visitation rights for LGBTQII+ people in their own time. 

Im not sure if you noticed, but 99% of the marchers are Japanese, and the Tokyo Rainbow Pride organizing committee is also Japanese, and the article noted that 70% of people in Japan are in favor of marriage equality. So this is most definitely not a western idea; it’s a Japanese one.

It is wise to remember LGBTQII+ people have traditionally been tolerated in Japan, unlike the West. It is incredibly rare for these people to be beaten up or killed in Japan - unlike so many other nations. So these people marching should be extremely grateful.

You actually think we should just be grateful we aren’t being harassed, beaten, and murdered, and thus shouldn’t ask for any more than that?

I gotta say, I’m not even mad. I’m laughing at the sheer absurdity of that statement.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Hopefully Japan don't import the gender dysphoria portion of the movement.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

girl_in_tokyo,

My point is that compared with what LGBT people takes discrimination against them is minuscule before the discrimination Okinawa is structurally forced under:

70% of all U.S. bases in Japan are planted in Okinawa, whose land mass is only 0.6% of Japan as a whole; the sacrifice it had to go under to delay the Allies' imminent invasion and make mainland Japan secure during WW II; the subsequent sacrifice after the war to make Japan a sovereign state albeit superficially; the supreme court's ruling on a litigation filed by 250,00 plaintiffs living around Kadena Air Base asking to end noise pollutions caused by late evening and early morning flights by U.S. military aircraft, etc., etc.

Do you think Okinawa's sacrifice is nothing compared with the suffering LGBT people receive?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel called on the Kishida government to deal with the LGBT issue just the same as the U.S. government, permitting same-sex marriage, so that the relevant person in the photo may say, "She is .my wife in the U.S., and so in Japan."

Can Emanuel ever say that when his headquarters Washington is forcing Tokyo to discriminate Okinawa, by obliging it to shoulder more than 70 percent of all U.S. bases planted in Japan, giving no ear to our voice to reduce its military footprint.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yubaru

Would have been nice to see a picture with folks that lined the streets, and one that showed 10,000 participants in the march!

I’d show you my pics if we could post them here. Put it this way: we watched group after group, from 1:00 to around 4:00, and there were more than 20 groups.

Not to mention, THIS picture doesnt even have, leastwise to my eyes, even 1 person waving a rainbow flag.

They were there. They were actually handing them out on the street. Other Pride gear included hats, scarves, t-shirts, and even teddy bears. Lots of rainbows on display.

If you want to get the message out, at least be honest about how you make your appeal!

What makes you think they weren’t honest?

If you want to see it for yourself, pictures and news reports are just a Google away.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I gotta say, the crowd was bigger than any of the years past. I went to the first one, years ago, and this year it surpassed all.

Everyone was commenting on the huge crowd, and it gave us confidence that the government can’t ignore us for much longer. With 70% of Japanese on our side, it’s only a matter of time.

Happy Pride everyone!!!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

girl_in_Tokyo,

Of course, Okinawa's base issue and the LGBTQ issue are apples and oranges, as you say. But aren't we talking about discrimination involved in both topics? From that perspective, they can be discussed on the same table.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What advances are mentioned in the article?

I couldn’t find any

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

A placard carried by one demonstrator of the couple shown in the attached photo reads: “She is my wife in the U.S. but just a friend in Japan.” 

I really can’t make out why this case of Japan's amounts to discrimination against LGBTQ or same sex marriage.

Compare that with the situation Okinawa is forced under. A mainlander told my sister at an alumnus gathering that Okinawa should accept the status quo involving U.S. bases as is for the security of mainland Japan. Area-wise, Okinawa hosts more than 70% of all U.S. bases planted in Japan.

Okinawa's land mass accounts for only 0.6% of Japan as a whole. Shouldn't this discrimination against Okinawa be straightened out right away more than anything else?

Discrimination of Okinawa by mainland Japan is demonstrated also in a court ruling on the lawsuit filed by 25,000 plaintiffs who live around Kadena Air Base, seeking an end to flights by U.S. military aircraft during early morning and late evening hours. 

During World War II, Okinawa was used as a riprap for the defense and security of mainland Japan. In 1952, a war-defeated Japan recovered its sovereignty in exchange of Okinawa’s sacrifice. As the result of the San Francisco peace accord, the U.S. military could use Okinawa as a freewheel bastion to guard and maintain its hegemony in the region. That's a real discrimination against Okinawa that must be addressed first and foremost.

What I want to point out here is that there is a way more urgent and acute problem in Japan than the LGBTQ issue that should be addressed.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Cool. One of the most fun events I've attended in Japan was an Osaka Pride Festival in 2019.

-4 ( +16 / -20 )

who included a group from Taiwan - the only Asian nation with same-sex marriage.

So Japan and Japanese people are completely in keeping with the rest of Asia on this, I guess. Interesting, I actually wasn't aware of this, though it's not my main topic of interest, I must confess.

The LGBTQ etc etc movement seems to have exploded in places like the US during the pandemic, particularly amongst teens and 20 somethings. I guess we did have a lot of device time after all. I wonder how tolerant they will prove to be of others cultural views on the matter - in this case, a whole region? Is it right to try and force your agenda on other cultures world views, or is it more woke to understand and respect multiple perspectives and diversity (the 'D' in DEIJ).

I'm personally for same sex marriage, but also respect diversity of opinion and views on the matter.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Advanced in Japan?

Like what?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

The Japanese people are not going to be pressured by marches and narrow-minded campaigns. They will decide on the issue of constitutional changes to marriage, inheritance and children visitation rights for LGBTQII+ people in their own time.

It is wise to remember LGBTQII+ people have traditionally been tolerated in Japan, unlike the West. It is incredibly rare for these people to be beaten up or killed in Japan - unlike so many other nations. So these people marching should be extremely grateful.

-7 ( +19 / -26 )

Would have been nice to see a picture with folks that lined the streets, and one that showed 10,000 participants in the march!

Crowds lined the sidewalks, waving rainbow flags and shouting "Happy Pride" at marchers, who included a group from Taiwan - the only Asian nation with same-sex marriage.

Not to mention, THIS picture doesnt even have, leastwise to my eyes, even 1 person waving a rainbow flag.

If you want to get the message out, at least be honest about how you make your appeal!

-8 ( +15 / -23 )

I have NO IDEA what this is all about, Japan is a democratic and Free nation, people can do and say their minds without fear or prosecution, now as for the LGBTQSUXYZ iot is equal right for all and are NO DIFFERENT.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

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