Japan PM Kishida Shows Respect for Diversity


Tokyo, Feb. 18 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has underscored his intention to aim for a society where diversity is respected, at a meeting with representatives from groups supporting sexual minorities such as LGBT people.

At the meeting, held at the prime minister's office in Tokyo Friday, Kishida apologized for derogatory remarks about LGBT people made by Masayoshi Arai, a former executive secretary to the prime minister, in early February.

"The remarks were extremely inappropriate and made (LGBT people) feel uncomfortable," Kishida said, adding, "We must make efforts to aim for a society in which diversity is respected alongside human rights and dignity." Arai was dismissed soon after he made the discriminatory remarks.

Attendees at the meeting included officials from Pride House Tokyo, which sends out information on LGBT people, Japan Alliance for LGBT Legislation, which calls for the establishment of a law banning discrimination, and ReBit, a nonprofit organization involved in activities supporting related education.

At a recent parliamentary meeting, Kishida said that legally recognizing same-sex marriage is "a matter that will change family values and people's values as well as society." At Friday's meeting, the prime minister denied that he made the remark in a negative sense.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press