General News

Advocates call for regulations to prevent ‘outing’ in Japan

Rachel Badham September 9, 2020

Japanese LGBTQ+ activists are calling for authorities to increase protection of the queer community from outing with current efforts to prevent the disclosure of people’s sexuality and/or gender identity against their will branded insufficient. According to the Japan Times only a handful of regional authorities that have specifically outlawed the outing of LGBTQ+ people. The Mie region was first to do so in June 2020 but efforts to implement anti-outing regulations have since slowed.

Some 10% of Japan’s population identify as LGBTQ+. According to Equaldex, nearly 80% of the population aged 20-59 support the legalisation of same-sex marriage and same-sex relations are legal. However there are few protections against discrimination and outing LGBTQ+ people against their will continues to be an issue in Japan.

The dangerous consequences of the practise were highlighted when a Hitotsubashi University graduate reportedly took his own life after being outed as gay by another student in 2015. The parents of the man took the case to court but the university avoided charges.

Mie governor Eikei Suzuki recently told the press ‘outing can lead to deaths’. Mie region authorities and LGBTQ+ advocates are pushing to outlaw outing completely by 2021. Some regional authorities are not co-operating, arguing that their current regulations are already sufficient.