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Support UN Reporting on Abuses; Increase Humanitarian Aid

(Tokyo) – Japan’s government should urgently protect Afghan civilians who are at risk under the new Taliban authorities, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. The Japanese government should also support…
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Sports Federations Need to Ensure Reasonable Accommodation for All Athletes

The Tokyo Paralympic Games begin this week with thousands of Paralympic athletes from around the world competing in 539 events in 22 sports. Sadly, one athlete who had earned a place on the United States team won’t be there. Rebecca Meyers, 26, a…
Rebecca Meyers competes in the Women's 400 m Freestyle S13 during day 4 of the Para Swimming World Championship in Mexico City, Mexico on November 5, 2017.
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Join #AthletesAgainstAbuse Campaign to Stand with Survivors

Tsubasa Araya was a gifted 17-year-old high school volleyball player in Japan. In July 2018, he took his life, writing, “Volleyball is the hardest.” As Japan prepares to host the Summer Olympics and Paralympics starting this week, the abuse and…
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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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Governments Should Reject Costly, Harmful Policy for Refugees, Asylum Seekers

(Sydney) – Other governments should reject Australia’s abusive and costly offshore processing of refugees and asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today. July 19, 2021 is the eighth anniversary of the Australian government’s resumption of its…
Asylum seekers and human rights activists protest against the detention of refugees amid the Covid-19 crisis in Brisbane.
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Commercial Dealings with Abusive Military Undermines Rights

(Tokyo) – Japanese business entities should stop their participation in a commercial real estate project involving Myanmar’s abusive military, Human Rights Now, Human Rights Watch, Japan International Volunteer Center, Justice For Myanmar, and Mekong…
Activists demonstrate in front of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Tokyo to cut off funding for Myanmar's national army on June 18, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. 
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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…
LGBT activists outside ruling LDP protesting
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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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Urgently Review All Non-Humanitarian Projects

(Tokyo) – The Japanese government should immediately review its aid portfolio for Myanmar and suspend non-humanitarian projects that benefit the junta or military, Human Rights Watch said today. Japan should immediately suspend Official Development…
People protest the Myanmar Armed Forces in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo on April 1, 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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Tokyo's Passive Diplomacy Will Only Embolden the Tatmadaw, Which Continues to Commit Grave Abuses with Impunity

Since the Myanmar military seized power on February 1, the Japanese government has expressed its “grave concerns” over the coup. It has called on the Myanmar military, known as the Tatmadaw, to “swiftly restore Myanmar’s democratic…
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi (left), Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (center), and Finance Minister Taro Aso (right) attend a Cabinet meeting in Tokyo on February 24, 2021.