The petition has over 106,000 signatures. 

In a new report from PBS, LGBTQ+ activists in Japan have formally submitted a petition requesting an LGBTQ+ equality law be created before the Tokyo Olympics. 

The form had over 106,000 signatures and was submitted on the day the Olympic torch relay began.

Director of the Japan Alliance for LGBTQ Legislation, Yuri Igarashi, opened up about the petition, stating: “Many LGBT people in Japan are still discriminated against … We need legislation to guarantee human rights and equality of LGBT people.” 

They continued: “It is a responsibility for a host nation to legalise the equality act.”  

The petition was submitted to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party as well as its junior coalition partner Komeito.

Support for the LGBTQ+ community in Japan has slowly been growing over time.

On 17 March 2021, the Sapporo District Court ruled that the Japanese public should have the right to get married.

The ‘groundbreaking’ ruling was a landmark victory for the country as same-sex marriages are not legally recognised, as Article 24 of Japan’s constitution defines marriage as “the mutual consent of both sexes”.

Judge Tomoko Takebe said in the historic ruling that preventing same-sex marriages violates Article 14 of the Japanese constitution, which bans discrimination based on “race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.”

Following the ruling supporters and plaintiffs displayed Pride flags and banners in support of the decision.

In regards to the recent ruling, the Chief Cabinet Secretary said the government seeks to achieve a society more tolerant to diversity, but he did not express any further comments on the outcome of the court cases.

Japan’s government does not yet legally recognise same-sex marriage. Amnesty International UK is calling for the government to put forward legislation to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

The non-profit organisation launched a global petition in support of the LGBTQ+ community in Japan to raise awareness of the on-going advocacy for rights.