Japan adopts LGBTQ awareness legislation

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03/12/2024

In June 2023, the ‘Act on the Promotion of Citizens’ Understanding of Diversity of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity’ was enacted by the Japanese legislature (the Diet). Japan’s legal system for protecting its LGBTQ minorities is considered insufficient compared to other developed countries. For this reason, LGBTQ persons and support groups have pushed for legislation that prohibits discrimination against persons who identify as LGBTQ. In 2023, in the run-up to the G7 Summit which was chaired by Japan, the situation regarding LGBTQ rights in Japan received attention from other countries, prompting accelerated discussions on improving legislation. However, mainly due to opposition from conservative lawmakers, this Act, which was passed as a result, does not directly prohibit discrimination, but only promotes citizens’ understanding of the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity. There is also no provision for penalties for violation of the Act. The main contents of the Act are as follows. Basic Principles-Measures to promote understanding must be implemented based on the principle that all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, should be respected as individuals who equally enjoy fundamental human rights, and with the recognition that there should be no unjust discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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