In 2011 and 2014, which will forever remain historic moments, Japan has signed UN Human Rights Council resolutions calling for an end to violence against LGBTQ people and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Only the Japanese government has done nothing to protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination in its own country.
LGBTQ rights groups have been fighting for equal rights in Japan for six years now, but the government has done nothing so far.
Tokyo is the only city that brought a municipal nondiscrimination ordinance in October 2018 to comply with the Olympic Charter that opposes LGBTQ discrimination.
The Summer Olympic Games, whose slogan is “Unity In Diversity”, should take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021 in Tokyo. They are not postponed yet.
Tokyo had therefore organized a consultation on human rights related to the Olympic Games, and the LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance had gained some popularity among the city’s population, sending an encouraging signal while showing the need for a national law.
Indeed, 88% of respondents in a November 2020 survey said they “agree or somewhat agree” with the “introduction of laws or ordinances that ban bullying and discrimination” against LGBTQ people.
That is why 80 LGBTQ rights organizations in Japan have launched a petition to bring in the Equality Act that they are all waiting for.
This initiative is supported by 116 human and LGBTQ rights organizations from around the world, who wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Japan on January 25, 2021, in support of the legislation.
“This year, all eyes will be on Japan,” said Matt Beard, executive director at All Out. “In these trying times, the Olympic Games will be a welcome and much-needed celebration of humanity in all its beautiful diversity. By granting LGBT people protection from discrimination, Japan can prove that it truly supports the Olympic spirit of promoting tolerance and respect.”
Kanae Doi, Japan director at Human Rights Watch, added that “by passing landmark legislation to protect LGBT people including athletes, Japan not only can be a global LGBT rights leader, but it would also become part of Japan’s permanent Olympic legacy.”