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Activists’ Videos Highlight Long Struggle for Equality

(Tokyo) – The Japanese government’s failure to pass a national nondiscrimination law to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics was a lost opportunity to advance the rights of…
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Address Abuse of Child Athletes, LGBT Discrimination, Gender Gap

(Tokyo) – Japan should address serious rights issues in the country as host of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Human Rights Watch said today in a new reporters’ guide. The Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, which start on July 23, 2021, are…
Supporters of Equality Act Japan gather in front of parliament before they submit a petition in Tokyo on March 25, 2021.
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Supporters Include Coca Cola, Intel, EY, PwC, Salesforce, Deloitte, SegaSammy

(Tokyo) – Major corporations have endorsed Japan’s proposed Equality Act, which would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination, J-ALL, Athlete Ally, All Out, and Human Rights Watch said today. As…
Supporters of Equality Act Japan gather in front of parliament before they submit a petition in Tokyo on March 25, 2021.
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Summary [The gender recognition law] is definitely a system that is wrecking [transgender] people’s dignity as a human being. —Saburo N., a transgender man, Kanagawa Prefecture, September 2018 Despite increasingly vocal domestic and…
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End Compulsory Sterilizations, ‘Mental Illness’ Diagnosis

(Tokyo) – Transgender people in Japan face continuing barriers to changing their legally recognized gender, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Japanese government should heed increasing calls from activists and experts to revise…
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Japan’s Ruling Party Members Slur LGBT Community

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights activists in Japan and their allies have for years been pressing the Diet, the national parliament, to introduce legislation that protects sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds for…
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(Tokyo, May 25, 2021) – Transgender people in [hrw.org/asia/japan]Japan face continuing barriers to changing their legally recognized gender, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Japanese government should heed increasing calls…
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Reform Legislation Should Explicitly Include Nondiscrimination Protections

Over the past six years, activists in Japan have pressed the Diet, the national parliament, to introduce a nondiscrimination law that protects the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Japan currently does not have any…
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, May 7, 2021.
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More Than 100,000 Signatures Support National LGBT Law

(Tokyo) – Japanese political parties should work together to submit and pass a bill at the national Diet to protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, J-ALL, Athlete Ally, All Out, and Human Rights Watch…
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Judge Calls Current Laws ‘Discriminatory’

It was quite something to see a district court judge break into tears as she read her verdict declaring the denial of marriage registration to same-sex couples in Japan unconstitutional. It’s a significant and emotional moment in Japan for a court…
Lawyers and supporters hold rainbow flags and a banner outside Sapporo District Court in Sapporo, Japan, March 17, 2021. 
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Experts Urge Tokyo Organizing Committee to Support Anti-Discrimination Law

(Tokyo) – The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG) should support LGBT nondiscrimination legislation to protect everyone in Japan from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, seven members of…
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Strong Political Declaration Needed to Reduce Civilian Harm

The Covid-19 pandemic has put the brakes on many things, including the negotiations to conclude a new political declaration on explosive weapons in populated areas. But states have continued such use, particularly with weapons with wide-area effects,…
Children in front of the Africa/Ayga hotel likely damaged by a direct fire weapon in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020.
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Rules Regulating Appearance Put Many Students, LGBT Teens at Risk

A recent case in Osaka, Japan, about hair color, highlights the risks of imposing social conformity. Many schools in Japan have strict policies around hair color, dress, and other appearance, and students can face harsh consequences if they fail to…
High school students wearing face masks walk in Tokyo, January 16, 2021. 
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UN Inquiry Needed into Alleged Violations by Warring Parties

(Nairobi) – Ethiopian federal forces carried out apparently indiscriminate shelling of urban areas in the Tigray region in November 2020 in violation of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today. Artillery attacks at the start of the armed…
A woman stands in a metal sheet room that was damaged by shelling in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020. In that residential compound, two women and an elderly man were killed by shelling and gunfire, and two women were wounded.
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An uptick in coronavirus cases in Japan has prompted a new state of emergency declaration and sparked debate here about the upcoming Olympics in Japan. The International Olympic Committee and health and sport authorities will work out the feasibility…
A staff member adjusts a banner for a press conference to launch international signature campaign for the enactment of the "LGBT Equality Law" as a legacy of the Tokyo Olympics Thursday on October 15, 2020, in Tokyo.
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116 Groups Urge Prime Minister Suga to Take Action

(Tokyo) – Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan should commit to introducing a law to protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, J-ALL, Athlete Ally, All Out and Human Rights Watch said today. 116 human…
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When I was a sophomore in 2014 at Mount Holyoke College, a women’s college in Massachusetts, our college president announced that transgender women would be able to join our student body. I and the other students who had assembled to hear the…
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Prime Minister Suga Should Use Favorable Position to Advocate Reforms

(Tokyo) – Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, should press the governments of Vietnam and Indonesia to improve their deteriorating human rights records during his visit to the two countries, Human Rights Watch said today. Suga will visit…
Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.