TOKYO, JP — (10-03-21) — LGBTQ rights activists in Japan are banking on front runner for Prime Minister Taro Kono to allow same-sex marriage to become law if elected.  The Covid-19 minister and popular Prime Minister candidate has publicly supported gay marriage and said that if he became the country’s next premier, he will change the law to make same-sex marriage legal.

Kono is seen as the front runner to win the ruling party’s leadership vote next Wednesday and become prime minster of Japan.  Of the four candidates for the Liberal Democratic Party leadership, Taro Kono and Seiko Noda have been the prime supporters for legalizing gay marriage.

For decades in Japan, same-sex marriage has been long seen as a cultural flashpoint among its  conservative groups. However according to LGBTQ activists in Japan, having two candidates even discussing same-sex marriage in the leadership race shows how much wider acceptance of the issue has become among lawmakers and the citizens of Japan.

“It’s great that he COVID-19 czar Taro Kono supports same-sex marriage and the significance that it is coming from someone inside the LDP” said Gon Matsunaka, an LGBTQ rights activist in Tokyo.

A March 2021 poll conducted by the Asahi newspaper found that 65% supported gay marriage, while 22% opposed it.

Though same-sex marriage is not legal in Japan, there has been a gradual move for acceptance of LGBTQ couples and the Asahi poll proves that.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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