Japanese Prime Minister Dismisses Aide Over Homophobic Remarks

Japanese Prime Minister Dismisses Aide Over Homophobic Remarks

Photo: 内閣官房内閣広報室/Wikimedia Commons

The Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida has dismissed a senior aide for saying to local media that he didn’t even “want to look at” LGBTQ+ couples.

The senior aide in question was the economy and trade official Masayoshi Arai who was fired over the homophobic comments he made to journalists, saying that he wouldn’t “want to live next door” to transgender or same-sex couples.

“His comments are outrageous and completely incompatible with the administration’s policies,” Fumio said in remarks aired by the public broadcaster NHK.

Other comments Arai is said to have made include that same-sex couples would “change the way society is” and claiming that “quite a few people” would abandon Japan if the country were to legalise same-sex marriage.

The former senior aide made the comments after Kishida stated in parliament that same-sex marriage required careful consideration due to the potential impact on the family structure.

Citizens Support Same-Sex Unions

At the moment, same-sex couples in Japan can only engage in civil unions and are unfortunately only permitted in certain regions of Japan like Tokyo. Civil partnerships currently allow couples to register for local government services but they cannot adopt or inherit assets.

A poll published by NHK back in July 2021 showed that out of the 1,508 respondents 57% support the legal recognition of same-sex unions.

Japan currently remains the only member of the G7 (Group Seven) nations that does not allow same-sex marriage or civil unions. Arai’s remarks could not have come at a worse time as Kishida is set to host the next G7 meeting in May.

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