Japan’s LGBTQ community ends up losing thanks to LDP’s intra-party policy
In May, former defense minister Tomomi Inada tried to get the Policy Research Council and General Council of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to approve a bill that would promote Japanese “understanding” of people. and LGBTQ issues. She assumed that the Diet would pass the bill in the session that ended on June 16, but die-hard conservatives in the party opposed the wording of the bill, and without unanimous approval it did not. could not proceed.
Media coverage of the case focused more on politics than on the content or purpose of the bill. Inada has always been proud of her conservative credentials and obviously sees no conflict between these values and her support for sexual minorities in Japan, but some colleagues and opinion makers see this support as proof that she deviates from the real one. way.
As explained in a June 18 post on the News Post Seven websitePart of Inada’s problem is that her presentation of the LGBTQ bill coincided with the alleged political resurgence of her mentor, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. News Post Seven says Abe is more easily exposed to media scrutiny right now in a possible attempt to regain the post of prime minister. Conservatives are applauding this move and have somehow identified Inada as a heretic in order to bolster Abe’s far-right support, even though in the past she has been touted as his likely successor.
In a May 27 column in the Sankei ShimbunEditor-in-chief Rui Abiru wrote that Inada had previously opposed a bill to defend human rights on the grounds that its passage would prevent politicians from speaking out on certain issues, and the fact that ‘She now works for LGBTQ rights proves that she is being dragged into “liberal totalitarianism” by elements on the left. In another Sankei column published on June 7Former presenter Yoshiko Sakurai said she had high hopes for Inada and wondered why she has changed so much. If the LDP follows Inada to the left, she writes, then the conservative movement in Japan is doomed.
News Post Seven suggests that the delay in moving the bill forward had more to do with the destruction of Inada than with doubts about what was in the legislation. Inada told Gekkan Nippon magazine that she was removed from her leadership role in the Shinto Association of Spiritual Leadership, an alliance that includes a group of conservative politicians led by Abe, saying her ousting was punishment for having supported a legal option for married couples to use last names. Conservatives argue that allowing such an option would destroy the traditional Japanese family. In an interview with Shukan Post, Inada rejected Abiru’s analysis that she was abandoning the conservative cause. She is against anyone being investigated for their opinions. The LGBTQ bill would not impose such bans, but would simply increase the general understanding of LGBTQ life.
In a June 18 column for Tokyo Shimbun, Yuji Kitamaru focused on Abe’s role in blocking the bill. The former party leader said it was part of his “tōsō(Struggle), a word that reminded Kitamaru of the campaign commitment Abe had once made not to let ‘these people’ defeat him – ‘these people’ meaning nominal leftists. Politically, Abe is primarily interested in the distinction between allies and enemies and doesn’t really care about politics or what the public wants, says Kitamaru, who believes Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga feels the same way.
This contradictory mindset has spread around the world, with the LGBTQ community being a common flashpoint. In a feature film for Mainichi Shimbun, journalist Motomi Kusakabe writes about the situation of LGBTQ people in South Korea. The main force opposing understanding of LGBTQ in South Korea are Protestant groups that pressure politicians to deny LGBTQ people any form of legitimacy. Even the country’s president, Moon Jae-in, a former human rights lawyer, said that while the rights of sexual minorities are to be upheld, there is nothing the government can do until society reaches a certain level. consensus on the issue.
Kusakabe quotes Genya Fukunaga, a Tsuru University lecturer knowledgeable about sexual minorities in South Korea, who says Protestant conservatives can consolidate their power around anti-LGBTQ activities since South Korean liberals have failed the will to defend sexual minorities. It is not worth political capital.
As long as LGBTQ people are denied any semblance of personality, conservative movements can use them as scapegoats, but once LGBTQ people openly assert their common humanity through popular culture or direct media coverage, arguments about their adverse effects on society become impossible to defend. Kusakabe mentions a YouTube channel in South Korea created by two cohabiting gay men – one Japanese, the other Korean – who simply recount their daily lives. Their programs attract as many as 30,000 views, but men remain cautious about revealing their identities.
According to polls cited by Kusakabe, public opinion towards LGBTQ people is more tolerant in Japan, although legal protections are still lacking. A transgender woman named Sari Kaede is the subject of a new indoor documentary, “You decide.”, In which she reveals her life and her life situation in order to show her fellow Japanese people that she is no different from them. In fact, the film’s Japanese title, “Musuko no Mama de, Joshi ni Naru” (“Becoming a Girl While Remaining a Son”), emphasizes the idea that she is still the “son” of someone who happens to be a woman now. The simple, almost mundane point of the film is that there is nothing threatening about his way of life.
When cornered, some Japanese conservatives say that LGBTQ people are a destructive force because they do not procreate, an easy argument given that by definition LGBTQ people are a minority and the country’s low birth rate. Japan is due to the reluctance of heterosexual couples to have children. (Not to mention the fact that LGBTQ people do Further, this reluctance is sparked by economic anxiety exacerbated by a growing wealth gap that conservatives are reluctant to address. Remember, there is an election coming up.
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