General News

Japan accused of violating Olympic charter over LGBTQ+ rights

Rachel Badham May 27, 2021

Japan’s ruling party has been accused of violating the Olympic charter after failing to pass a bill to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ citizens. In March, a petition with over 106,000 signatures has been sent to the government to call for LGBTQ+ equality before the Tokyo Olympics. However, lawmakers have subsequently decided to postpone an equality bill, according to The Guardian.

As a result, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the government deserved a “gold medal for homophobia”, and noted that LGBTQ+ equality was a core part of the Olympic charter. During a meeting regarding a potential equality bill, government advisor Koji Shigeuchi, criticised Japan’s LGBTQ+ community, saying: “LGBT goes against the preservation of the human race.” The HRW encouraged leaders to “override their ugly rhetoric and pass the Equality Act immediately.”

Japan currently ranks among the lowest among OECD (an international economic organisation) countries for LGBTQ+ equality. Although a district court recently ruled that criminalising same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, it continues to be outlawed in the country. LGBTQ+ people also have no legal protections from discrimination.