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Tokyo ward assemblyman apologizes for remarks against LGBT rights

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I am gay and I accept his apologies as part of a very ignorant statement. I find it funny he actually blamed Japan's low birth rate to homosexuals. I am 28 and I am dreaming of earning money by my 35th birthday and have a surrogate mother have my little boy/little girl. As for the rest, it's not worth discussing. I accept his apologies.

4 ( +18 / -14 )

Hokkaidoboy, well said.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

If Mr Shiraishi were an ordinary member of the public, then there would be little to worry about.

However, he is not.

To he forgiven or not is rather irrelevant to the matter IMO.

The concern is that as a politician, his opinion influences law in Japan.Enough opinions like these are enough to pass discriminatory legislation here in Japan.

The ignorant and inept comments that society would die out if all the population were homosexual is just a hypothetical premise which has no bearing on any type of fact.

Therein lies the problem

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Stop all the fake outrage..... All he said was “If everyone was gay the birth rate would drop.” Obviously a true statement. I doubt he is a campaigner for the LGBT community but neither are many others. He has the right to his views as much as you do to yours.

The electorate have the chance to vote him out but I expect that to most people LGBT is not very high on their list of priorities.

1 ( +17 / -16 )

Mr KiplingToday 07:50 am JST

Stop all the fake outrage.....

The outrage is not at all fake. LGBTQIA and allies are well tired of hearing politicians and other people in power make these kinds of prejudiced remarks.

All he said was “If everyone was gay the birth rate would drop.” Obviously a true statement.

It is not a true statement. It is a hypothetical, and an extremely unlikely one at that. Even if it were not a hypothetical, it would still be untrue because LGBTQIA can, and do, have children.

I doubt he is a campaigner for the LGBT community but neither are many others. He has the right to his views as much as you do to yours.

I don't understand this remark. No one has said that he doesn't have the right to his view. What this reads like is that you think we don't have the right to criticize his view.

Do you honestly think that prejudicial remarks should just be left unchallenged by the very people they are made against?

The electorate have the chance to vote him out but I expect that to most people LGBT is not very high on their list of priorities.

I don't think you understand why it is so significant when politicians and others in power make discriminatory remarks. And if human rights for all is not high on someone's list of prioroties, I would question that person's moral integrity.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Mr. Kipling, And what if he postulated, "If everyone was Catholic (or Mormon, or Islamists, etc., take your pick), the birth rate would drop (or Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines lose believers and income, etc., take your pick)"?

It is not just a matter of "All he said was" that matters. It is that he is a politician, allegedly working at the long past due date of 79 for all of his constituency. His statement was ill-considered and hurt many, as well as contributed to shaming Japan as a whole in the eyes of the world, as the protests and petitions clearly demonstrate.

He should retire immediately and enjoy his fat pension.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Old folks do not understand men marry men or women marry women.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The 79-year-old assemblyman

Time for this guy to retire and let someone with a fresher, not dinosaur mind to take over.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

The electorate have the chance to vote him out but I expect that to most people LGBT is not very high on their list of priorities.

Probably not but it does show a mindset not really suited to modern society.

Put him out to grass.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Hokkaidoboy, that's very big of you.

I'm not surprised that a person of his age who thinks he has never met a gay person would not understand them. I also think senior government officials should be replaced by people with values of the modern era.

If there is one positive we can take from this, it's the very big reaction from LGBT and allies alike. It is a changing country.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

What really concerns me is that anyone that stupid and ignorant got enough votes to be elected in the first place!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

"I regret my actions and will make efforts to accept different sexualities from now on," he said.

At 79, different sexualities might be a little too much to handle. But good luck.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I don't understand why people think it's okay for older people to be ignorant on modern day issues like LBTQIA rights.

It's not as if the gay rights movement has just sprung up. Stonewall was in 1969, over 50 years ago. Marriage equality has been an worldwide issue since the 90's, became legal in the Netherlands in 2001, and since then more than 30 countries have gotten on board. Japan has had Pride parades almost every year since 1994, and there are LGBTQIA politicans, such as Taiga Ishikawa.

This guy is 79. When Stonewall happened he was in college; in 2001, he was just 60. He's had plenty of time to learn about the gay rights movement, and being an assemblyman obligates him to learn.

While his apology is commendable, there is no real excuse for his comments. Let's hope his promise to be more open-minded isn't just empty words.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

mr kipling:

Stop all the fake outrage..... All he said was “If everyone was gay the birth rate would drop.”

That's not what the article says. It says

"cease to exist" if the rights of sexual minorities are protected by law,

Or maybe I can't read properly.

If everyone in Japan were a refugee from Iraq, Japan would cease to exist. But is it going to happen? Ask yourself.

At the end of the day, he's 79. He won't be around for much longer.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I don't understand why people think it's okay for older people to be ignorant on modern day issues like LBTQIA rights

True to a point, but it is worth remembering that you and I will be ridiculed by future generations for our narrow-mindedness and blindness on certain issues.

We will be regarded as barbarians and bigots.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

mans laws are mans laws, the spiritual laws are those way above the authority of man and that goes for the spiritual judgement as well. Each person knows right from wrong something humans are born with unless mentally challenged. Of course in today's day and age that pretty much means all of us..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am gay and I accept his apologies as part of a very ignorant statement.

That's great, and forgiveness and understanding are very important. It is ridiculous to expect Japan to change overnight.

fwiw, I bet the same politician has no clue about what it is like to be poor, what it is like to be a single parent, what it is like to be a woman with ambitions, what it is like to be 79 years old and not have a pension or councilor's income, etc. etc.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Jimizo Today 09:16 am JST

True to a point, but it is worth remembering that you and I will be ridiculed by future generations for our narrow-mindedness and blindness on certain issues.

We will be regarded as barbarians and bigots.

You really need to speak for yourself. I make a point to actively question my beliefs and listen to those around me when they have experience in an area that I don't. I keep up on social justice issues and listen to minority voices. This is something I work at, and IMO there is no excuse for not doing that even at age 50 and over.

And I am going to be 50 in just three short years.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I’m an older alternative and have put up with this discrimination for decades. Apologies are not enough. He should meet and get involved with our communities so he can learn we are all the same human beings.

NB. Thanks JT for a follow up story. Sometimes it would be great to know what happened After breaking headlines.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@Jimizo

We will be regarded as barbarians and bigots.

Or we may be regarded as immoral, depraved hedonists. Like how the Victorians viewed the Regency era folks. Or how my generation often ridiculed the "free love" and "let it all hang out" hippies as naive and silly.

The one truth about history is that social mores never stay the same and tend to come full circle over the centuries. This guy's views will become mainstream again at some point in the future and garner sympathy.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Gays and lesbians ain’t gonna reproduce anyways, you old fogey.

If anything, making Adachi ward LGBT friendly might attract more residents and boost the tax paying population. More working adults who don’t want kids = more tax paying residents and less child support handouts. Sounds like a win-win.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The thumbs down on Hokkaidoboy's perfectly reasonable comment are concerning. Do we have homophobic individuals among our ranks?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

We will be regarded as barbarians and bigots.

You really need to speak for yourself.

Are you the first person in the history of the species who has achieved the ability to foresee what moral advances we will make, often based on new scientific knowledge and breakthroughs?

This is a level of conceit and arrogance I’ve never come across before.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Too late and too little, the political environment in Japan is still bad enough for people to think they can express such ignorant opinions without any consequence.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Jimizo Today 11:33 am JST

Are you the first person in the history of the species who has achieved the ability to foresee what moral advances we will make, often based on new scientific knowledge and breakthroughs?

This is a level of conceit and arrogance I’ve never come across before.

What we are actually contesting here is your notion that people don't have the ability to change with the times, will always stick with what they currently know, and will, at some point in their lives, stop actively questioning and then re-evaluating their beliefs.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

What we are actually contesting here is your notion that people don't have the ability to change with the times

I didn’t post that. I posted ‘true to a point’. Of course they can change but I wouldn’t be too harsh to judge. I’ve heard extreme virtue-signalers talking about refusing to talk to grandparents. How about people who oppose homosexuality based on deeply held religious views?

Well done for backing off the idea that you have reached moral Nirvana.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jimizo: This is a level of conceit and arrogance I’ve never come across before.

The idea that advances in knowledge and technology always lead to more moral and ethical outcomes is conceited and arrogant. 100 years ago Progressives were heralding advances in sciences that would enable the elimination of miscreants and defective people. None other than the German National Socialist Party were so inspired by the American advances in eugenics that they sought to apply these ideas and to take them to ever greater heights in order to achieve a better society.

Science and knowledge are always misused by society’s to some extent or other because like the way religion was misused in the past it provides a veneer of legitimacy for a desired end goal. People get so caught up in their desired outcomes they fail to notice that science in the hands of human beings is imperfect- just like human beings are imperfect. By the time you realize you’ve been duped by the “experts” it’s too late. The damage has already been done.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

 How about people who oppose homosexuality based on deeply held religious views?

Most of the the prejudice I experienced was from Christians. I was physically and emotionally abused by the church. Never sexually.

when it got to the stage that they (my grandparents and parents church) influenced my parents to throw me out as an outcast, actually they called me a “black sheep”, I was hurt.

not my beliefs, but I was labeled and bullied as. “Black sheep”. Jesus of Nazareth was black, a Palestinian and probably gay.

I left my country to japan to escape prejudice, lay low without gossip. I found peace here. My Japanese partner and I are accepted in a conservative rural community. But bigots like him can easily rock the boat. They are dangerous. I can’t run anymore.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Goodlucktoyou.

So sorry to hear that you have been abused.

In the other hand, you think being gay is the cool thing in Japan because not much Christians to chastinize you.

I am as homop.hobic as rac.ist I can be, i.e not much to say the least.

Still, it does not mean I must accept to favor specific rights to minorities, like surrogate mother (equal for me as buying a kid in a supermarket) or marriage between same gender. Please accept my humble opinion. I hear you and wish you a happy life without bigots around you, whatever religion (islam.ists being the worst those days, but it seems Christians in the USA hurt also a lot indirectly)

I learnt not to put everyone in the same basket, that is the most important.

We are clever people and I am sure meeting each other (talking to all here) would be very educative. As Girlintokyo says very well, learning should be a constant process. Wisdom speaks.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What is that expression ?

If pigs had wings they could fly

Shiraishi sounds just as daft with his version!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Unfortunately, and in terms of liberal attitudes, I think we are regressing. And no, I’m not referring to the outbreak of foot-in-mouth disease in the Tokyo parliament.

Despite the progressives’ claim that they champion diversity, there is one kind of diversity they will not countenance: diversity of thought. Go off the script and you risk sanction ranging from say, banning a on social media to losing your job or even criminal sanction. Whatever agenda “victim” groups push, irrespective of consequence or merit, is treated as secular gospel and any challenge to received opinion is heresy.

We have all heard of the tyranny of the majority, but what we now have are minorities within minorities - the extremists - putting mainstream thought under the cosh in true tail-wagging-dog style.

Political activism, essentialist tribalism, special pleading, and the pursuit of agendas of little importance to 99% of society - who must nevertheless suck it up and like it - will inevitably result in blowback.

Be careful you don’t overplay your hands.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Jimizo Today 12:14 pm JST

I didn’t post that. I posted ‘true to a point’. Of course they can change but I wouldn’t be too harsh to judge. I’ve heard extreme virtue-signalers talking about refusing to talk to grandparents. How about people who oppose homosexuality based on deeply held religious views?

I don't care what god(s) or goddess(s) people believe in, but I do care how they treat others. Put simply, believe what you want, think what you want, hate in your heart all you want, but you don't get to use your religious beliefs as an excuse to abuse and discriminate. The line is drawn in how you behave towards others.

And LGBTQIA are not obligated to keep relationships with anyone who doesn't treat them with respect, no matter how that person is related to them.

Well done for backing off the idea that you have reached moral Nirvana.

I didn't espouse that idea in the first place, so how can it be said that I backed off from it?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Jonathan Prin Today 01:00 pm JST

So sorry to hear that you have been abused.

In the other hand, you think being gay is the cool thing in Japan because not much Christians to chastinize you.

After showing sympathy to someone who has been discriminated against and abused, the next line should not start with "on the other hand." There is no "on the other hand" - no excuse or reason to continue to espouse homophobic beliefs that continue to harm people:

Still, it does not mean I must accept to favor specific rights to minorities, like surrogate mother (equal for me as buying a kid in a supermarket) or marriage between same gender.

This causes harm - as such, your sympathy means nothing.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

> That's great, and forgiveness and understanding are very important. It is ridiculous to expect Japan to change overnight.

> I'm not really a fan of giving Japan a leeway with regards to things like this. They have had decades to change but yet here we are in 2020 with little change outside of those laughable "same sex certificates" (which, by the way don't actual give you any real legal rights.)

Knowing the current government I doubt same sex marriage will be legal here for another 10-15 years but I am glad that LGBT people here are starting to be vocal and I hope they keep on putting more pressure on the government in the future.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

That's great, and forgiveness and understanding are very important. It is ridiculous to expect Japan to change overnight.*

I'm not really a fan of giving Japan a leeway with regards to things like this. They have had decades to change but yet here we are in 2020 with little change outside of those laughable "same sex certificates" (which, by the way don't actual give you any real legal rights.)

Knowing the current government I doubt same sex marriage will be legal here for another 10-15 years but I am glad that LGBT people here are starting to be vocal and I hope they keep on putting more pressure on the government in the future.

0( +0 / -0 )

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Well done for backing off the idea that you have reached moral Nirvana.

I didn't espouse that idea in the first place, so how can it be said that I backed off from it?

We will be regarded as barbarians and bigots.

You really need to speak for yourself.

Speak for yourself? Are you saying you won’t be regarded as a bigot or a barbarian for your views by future generations? I’m very sure you and all of us here will.

As for the religious aspect, I’m against all religions and the bigotry it often excuses.

Are you prepared to call all people who hold homophobic views due to religious beliefs bigots? You have called people against LGBT rights bigots in the past.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Bungle Today 01:56 pm JST

Despite the progressives’ claim that they champion diversity, there is one kind of diversity they will not countenance: diversity of thought.

What exactly do you mean by "diversity of thought? Does accepting "diversity of thought" mean that LGBTQIA must accept demeaning rhetoric from homophobes, should not criticize them for having those views, and should not seek to stop them from discriminating against us and denying us our very human rights? Because that is what it sounds like you are saying.

Go off the script and you risk sanction ranging from say, banning a on social media to losing your job or even criminal sanction. Whatever agenda “victim” groups push, irrespective of consequence or merit, is treated as secular gospel and any challenge to received opinion is heresy.

You mean to say that if a person says something bigoted on social media, they risk being called out for it. And you think that is bad?

You also seem to be saying that if a company employee espouses hateful views or behaves in a discriminatory way or harasses someone who is LGBTQIA, it is wrong of their company to fire them. Is that right?

We have all heard of the tyranny of the majority, but what we now have are minorities within minorities - the extremists - putting mainstream thought under the cosh in true tail-wagging-dog style.

It is not extremist to criticize homophobia or other kinds of bigotry.

Political activism, essentially tribalism, special pleading, and the pursuit of agendas of little importance to 99% of society - who must nevertheless suck it up and like it - will inevitably result in blowback.

Be careful you don’t overplay your hands.

Wanting the same human rights as everyone else isn't special pleading.

LGBTQIA rights are human rights, and human rights are the concern of all humans.

The vast majority of people support LGBTQIA rights. I tend to think that you are the one who is in the minority.

Don't overplay our hands? What are you going to do? Try to stop us from getting married? You're already doing that. What's next that would be worse, and do you really think anyone would support such an action?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

79, male, LDP... ticks all the boxes.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"The 79-year-old assemblyman retracted,,,,," Seriously? at 79 he should be retired and attending to his veg plot.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

79, male, LDP... ticks all the boxes.

For a young whippersnapper, yes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Context switch.

 Does accepting "diversity of thought" mean that non-LGBTQIA must accept demeaning rhetoric from activists, should not criticize them for having those views, and should not seek to stop them from discriminating against us and denying us our very human rights?

See how that works?

You mean to say that if a person says something bigoted on social media, they risk being called out for it.

The more interesting question for me is "Who is the moral arbiter of all things bigoted?". Presumably people you agree with, no?

It is not extremist to criticize homophobia or other kinds of bigotry.

Translation: I am entitled to dismiss anyone whose opinion differs from mine as a moral reprobate.

LGBTQIA rights are human rights, and human rights are the concern of all humans.

In what way are you being impeded in your daily life compared to anyone else, or is paying taxes an alphabet issue now?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The idea that advances in knowledge and technology always lead to more moral and ethical outcomes is conceited and arrogant.

When did I say always?

I said ‘certain issues’.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If all Japanese women were lesbian or all Japanese men were gay, then do you think the next generation of people will be born?"

Where is Assemblyman Shiraishi being logically false? If his statement is untrue, why has no one offered evidence here to its falsity?

I appreciate that gender confused and/or nihilism activists may not like the truth but does their dislike require an apology from this man? I do not think so.

Once again, these activists are apparently using the victim card, falsely claiming that rights are being denied them while rejecting the basis for all human rights at the same time.

Lastly, this self-evident truth seems needed to be repeated, i.e. anyone with any sexual preference can marry whomever they love depending on that person’s age, familial relationship, sex, marital status, required documentation, required presence, and willingness to swear under oath. No one may marry a close blood relative, a child, a person who is already married, or a person of the same sex. However much those restrictions may disappoint the incestuous, pedophiles, polygamists, and the gender confused, the issue is not discrimination. It is the nature of marriage itself.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

it is worth remembering that I will be ridiculed by future generations for my narrow-mindedness and blindness on certain issues.

We will be regarded as barbarians and bigots.

Jimi, you already are, but you're too blind to see it. Blind and brainwashed by your media.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Before the assembly session, a group of roughly 30 people held a protest against Shiraishi in front of the ward office building.

Come on. How many?

Roughly 30 means that it must be LESS than 30.

Not exactly a huge crowd.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Bungle Today 03:09 pm JST

Context switch.

 Does accepting "diversity of thought" mean that non-LGBTQIA must accept demeaning rhetoric from activists, should not criticize them for having those views, and should not seek to stop them from discriminating against us and denying us our very human rights?

See how that works?

No, that is not "how that works."

On one side we have people comparing LGBTQIA relationships to sex with dogs, levying accusations of immorality and sin, suggesting that our relationships are not "real" or are inferior, and attempting to deny us basic human rights, among other things.

On the other side we have LGBTQIA pointing out that discrimination is wrong, calling out the bigotry of such discrimination, and demanding equal rights.

The more interesting question for me is "Who is the moral arbiter of all things bigoted?". Presumably people you agree with, no?

One objective moral truth is that discriminating against people and treating them as unequall under the law is wrong.

Translation: I am entitled to dismiss anyone whose opinion differs from mine as a moral reprobate.

Translation: I am entitled to protest when people discriminate against me and attempt to take away my human rights.

In what way are you being impeded in your daily life compared to anyone else, or is paying taxes an alphabet issue now?

This depends on the country. Different countries have different laws. In some countries being gay is completely illegal and being open about being gay will result in your state-sanctioned murder.

In other countries people can't adopt children or can't get married.

But all you need to is look this up - I don't think you need me to google it for you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rolf Anderson Today 04:52 pm JST

Where is Assemblyman Shiraishi being logically false? If his statement is untrue, why has no one offered evidence here to its falsity?

This is very obviously false because LGBTQIA people can, and do, have children.

I appreciate that gender confused and/or nihilism activists may not like the truth but does their dislike require an apology from this man? I do not think so.

This is not the truth, it is also discrimanatory in nature, and therefore requires an apology.

Once again, these activists are apparently using the victim card, falsely claiming that rights are being denied them while rejecting the basis for all human rights at the same time.

Rights for LGBTQIA people are being denied, all over the globe, and that includes Japan.

Lastly, this self-evident truth seems needed to be repeated, i.e. anyone with any sexual preference can marry whomever they love depending on that person’s age, familial relationship, sex, marital status, required documentation, required presence, and willingness to swear under oath. No one may marry a close blood relative, a child, a person who is already married, or a person of the same sex. However much those restrictions may disappoint the incestuous, pedophiles, polygamists, and the gender confused, the issue is not discrimination. It is the nature of marriage itself.

WOW ......... it is very telling that you compare loving adult relationships with child molestation.

"the incestuous, pedophiles, polygamists, and the gender confused"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The debate of whether homosexuality is a born trait or a choice, immoral or natural can go on till the cows come home.

The facts are, people have pursued, and continue to pursue homosexual relationships even under the threat of the death penalty (ie: gays in ISIS controlled Iraq).

If homosexuality were a choice, one would think the choice of self-preservation would take precedence

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He's dumb but it's kind of weird that he essentially thinks all Japanese men and women are secretly homosexual but it's suppressed by the law?

Heterosexuality is more common in a sexually dimorphic species such as ours

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rolf AndersonOct. 21 04:52 pm JST

Lastly, this self-evident truth seems needed to be repeated, i.e. anyone with any sexual preference can marry whomever they love depending on that person’s age, familial relationship, sex, marital status, required documentation, required presence, and willingness to swear under oath. No one may marry a close blood relative, a child, a person who is already married, or a person of the same sex. However much those restrictions may disappoint the incestuous, pedophiles, polygamists, and the gender confused, the issue is not discrimination. It is the nature of marriage itself.

I'd like to point out that the derogatory nature of this comment, the obvious homophobia, and the blatant insults, are being allowed by the mods.

Apparently bitogry is allowed, but pointing it out is not.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No one may marry a close blood relative, a child, a person who is already married, or a person of the same sex.

What are you talking about? There are married people of the same sex all over this planet. Literally millions. Have you not been paying attention?

the issue is not discrimination. It is the nature of marriage itself.

Obviously not, as there are same-sex marriages all over the place, yet are discriminated against in some countries.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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