Out of the International Group of Seven, Japan is the only nation that has not legalized same-sex marriage. Their emphasis on traditional gender roles and the nuclear family structure appear to reign supreme even till this day.
But change may be approaching faster than one might think. On 4 February 2023, government aide Masayoshi Arai was let go by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, as the former took an unacceptable public stance against LGBT couples in Japan.
Homophobic Japanese aide gets fired
Dear Straight People,
On 3 February 2023, the 55-year-old economy and trade official publicly expressed that he “wouldn’t like it if [same-sex couples] lived next door.”
According to NHK, people would “abandon the country if we allow same-sex marriage”, for it would “change the way society is.”
Having only joined Kishida’s office in October, Arai’s tenure was short-lived when Kishida declared his comments “outrageous” and “completely incompatible” with his government’s policies that focused on championing diversity and inclusivity.
Later that day, Arai issued a public apology in a bid to rescind his previous comments.
I apologize for having used expressions that may cause misunderstanding. I caused trouble [to the prime minister] due to my own opinions.”Masayoshi Arai
But Arai’s fall from grace is not unprecedented. In the span of three months, four ministers have left the government over a multitude of scandals.
Most notably, internal affairs and communication vice minister Mio Sugita was similarly sacked in December. In a 2018 article, he deemed sexual minority couples unproductive without the ability to produce offspring and undeserving of government support.
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