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Sexual Minorities in Japan: The Myth of ToleranceNagayasu Shibun

Last year a graduate student at Hitotsubashi University killed himself after he was outed as gay. His family has taken the university and the student who exposed him to court. Despite superficial acceptance in popular entertainment, deep-rooted prejudices and discrimination against sexual minorities remain strong in Japan.

Rainbow in the East: LGBT Rights in JapanSechiyama Kaku

A new ordinance in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward recognizing same-sex partnerships has drawn headlines around the world and started wider discussion of LGBT issues within Japan. Sociologist Sechiyama Kaku examines the recent history of LGBT rights in Japan, including a 1990s court case that proved to be a turning point.

Shibuya Pioneers with Partnership Certificates for Same-Sex Couples

On March 31 the municipal assembly of Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward approved a statute under which the ward will recognize cohabiting same-sex couples as being in a relationship “equivalent to marriage” and will issue documents certifying such relationships. Although same-sex marriages and civil partnerships conferring comparable legal status are becoming available in a growing number of countries aroun…

Signs of Growing Acceptance for Japan’s Gay CommunityDavid McMahon

In what is seen by some as a landmark ruling for Japan’s LGBT community, the city government of Shibuya, Tokyo, last week outlined plans to issue same-sex couples with a certificate recognizing their relationship as being “equivalent to marriage.” The draft statute—now awaiting approval by the Shibuya Municipal assembly, scheduled to convene in March—was unveiled on February 12 as part of the d…

Why is Homosexuality Absent from Japanese Television?Kato Yuko

British theatre fans were pleasantly surprised by the recent news of a new television drama series in the works. The British television channel ITV announced that Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi will play an old, gay couple in a new sitcom series. I found this news wonderful and very interesting. Ian McKellen is one of the most respected actors in the English speaking world. He is known t…

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