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Letter to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga Regarding National LGBT Non-Discrimination Act

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga

Cabinet Secretariat, Government of Japan

1-6-1 Nagata-chō, Chiyoda-ku

Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

 

Re: National Law Needed by 2020 Tokyo Olympics to Protect against Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

 

Dear Prime Minister Suga,

The undersigned 116 organizations urge you, in advance of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, to introduce legislation that would protect people in Japan from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Olympic Charter expressly bans “discrimination of any kind” including on the grounds of sexual orientation as a “Fundamental Principle of Olympism.” Japan has also ratified core international human rights treaties that obligate the government to protect against discrimination, including the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Games have been advertised as celebrating “unity in diversity” and “passing on a legacy for the future.” We recall former Prime Minister Abe’s March 2015 speech proclaiming Japan’s intention to “stamp out discrimination and respect human rights.”

With a worldwide audience of billions for the Tokyo Olympic Games, Japan will be in the global spotlight in an unprecedented way. This is an important opportunity for you to showcase the government’s commitment to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in society.

The current lack of legal protections in Japan for LGBT people does not meet the requirements of the Olympic Charter, the Olympic Agenda 2020, or international human rights standards.

In October 2018, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government adopted an ordinance that protects LGBT people from discrimination in line with the Olympic Charter. While a promising step, Japan has not yet enacted national anti-discrimination legislation that includes LGBT people.

Since several Tokyo 2020 competitions, including the marathon and race walk, golf, fencing, and surfing, will take place outside of Tokyo - in Hokkaido, Saitama, Chiba, Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures - LGBT Japanese fans, athletes, and foreign visitors will not be protected under Tokyo’s anti-discrimination ordinance.

Although Japan has increasingly taken a leadership role at the United Nations by voting for both the 2011 and 2014 Human Rights Council resolutions calling for an end to violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, LGBT people in Japan continue to face intense social pressure, and have fewer legal protections than their peers.

In her September 2013 International Olympic Committee Host City election speech, “Cool Tokyo” Ambassador Christel Takigawa promised Japan will welcome everyone with the unique hospitality known as “omotenashi.” She said, “we promise that we provide every visitor with memories to last a lifetime.” Former Prime Minister Abe was also present at the Host City election and promised Japan is a “true believer in the Olympic movement.” However, under the current legal system, the government of Japan is allowing that LGBT people, athletes, coaches and fans may not receive a welcome of “omotenashi.”

Public support for LGBT equality has surged in Japan in recent years, highlighting the importance of inclusive hospitality during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Recent surveys show that 3 to 10 percent of people in Japan identify as LGBTQ (see Dentsu Inc. and Osaka city), and 83 percent of the Japanese public supports the Tokyo municipal LGBT non-discrimination ordinance.

With such strong national support and the Olympic imperative, we the undersigned groups urge the Japanese government to enact a law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity to uphold the Olympic Charter and bring domestic law in line with international human rights standards.

Prime Minister Suga, we respectfully ask that you:

Immediately, publicly commit to the introduction of a national law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity; and

Direct the drafting of an anti-discrimination bill on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and introduce the law for passage to the National Diet session in advance of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sincerely,

Athlete Ally

Asia Catalyst

Athletes for Human Rights

All Out

Football Supporters Europe

Global Athlete

Human Rights Watch

ILGA World  (The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association)

ILGA Asia

The International Confederation of Trade Unions (ITUC)

Outright Action International

Transparency International Germany 

World Players Association

Wrestle Like a Girl

IRIS

Ashita Project

NPO ASTA

Amnesty International Japan

NPO akta 

Inclusive Café

SR LGBT &Allies

Sexualities and Human Rights Network ESTO

ELLY Fukui

Rainbow View MIYAZAKI

LGBT Support Council Ishikawa

Policy informatics center of LGBT

Legal Allies for LGBTs in Kyushu

LGBT Families and Friends

SHG for LGBT

Japan Alliance for LGBT Legislation

OLQ/Over the Rainbow 

Over the Rainbow

Nijiiro-SKY for families & partners of LGBT

NPO Colorful Change Labo

Colorful Child

NPO Colorful Blankets

Colourful Heart

nanairohotaru

Kansai Tongzhi Association

Japan Sexual Minorities Support Network for Social Inclusion

Kumaniji

NPO Kochi Help Desk

Sawachi

GID Link

Gender and labor study group

Japanese Association of Sexual Health

Project Japan Women's & Human Rights Network

JobRainbow Inc. 

Nijimasu

The new c team

Sukotan Social Service

Stonewall Japan

NPO GID

Seino Tayouseito Kyouiku Hiroshima Renrakukai

Sexual minority Diversity Kurihara (color calibrations)

All Japan Women's Shelter Network

SOiGIEs

Social Ally Konatu Hut! 

SOGIE support team kokoColor

Soranijiakashi-Akashi

Soraniji Himeji

Diversity Shinshu

divercitizen

Diversity Machiya

Diversity Lounge Toyama

Diversity WakuWaku

lag

Tsunagary Café 

Tiida Ami

Take it! nyizyi

Tokyo Deaf LGBT bond

NPO TOKYO RAINBOW PRIDE

Same-sex Partnership Net Japan

Trance Gender Café

Nakano LGBT Network NIJIIRO

Nakusou! SOGI Harassment Committee

Nijiiro Kazoku

nijiiro canvas

Nijiiro smile

NPO Nijiiro Diversity

Rainbow♡Hug Hakusan

Nijiirono-Hinata for LGBT youth

Hamamatsu Transgender Society

Partner Kyosai

Hareruwa

Be my friend! LGBT

Fair

Fruits in Suits Japan

Pride Bridge

Proud Kagawa

FRENS

VISION!~for Transgender

Machidashi Nijiiro sazanka

Marriage for All Japan

marugame rainbow parade

Approved Specified Nonprofit Corporation Exotic club

Munakata Foundation

YARUKI ARIMI

Yokohamashi Hotaru 

LOUD

Rainbow Alliance Okinawa

Rainbow Kanazawa 

NPO Rainbow community coLLabo

Rainbow Saitama

NPO Rainbow Soup

RAINBOW ZUSHI 

Rainbow Tokyo Kitaku

NPO Rainbow Toshima

Rainbow Knots LLC

Rainbow Heart TOYAMA

Rainbow Fellows Nagano

Rainbow foster care 

RainbowPort Himawari

Rainbow Yamaguchi 

Regumi Studio Tokyo

Youth UP campaign

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