In Japan the “Marriage For All” Movement Advances

December 30, 2021
Mrs. Yuriko Koike

The Tokyo region of Japan is preparing to enact a law recognizing same-sex unions. This is a probable prelude to a future national bill which still divides part of the political class and society.

Tokyoites will have to resolve to mourn the loss of the model of the traditional family.

It was the governor of the Japanese capital who announced it in person, on December 7, 2021: “in response to the wishes of the inhabitants of Tokyo and those who are concerned by this subject, we are going to make preparations to recognize same-sex unions,” said Yuriko Koike, the first woman to hold the post.

“This initiative aims to reduce the number of problems that homosexual people can encounter in everyday life and to promote the understanding of Tokyoites on sexual diversity,” explains Yuriko Koike.

This is a progressive advance that is not really to the liking of the national government, the majority of whose members belong to the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD), a rather conservative formation: “We need to think extremely carefully about the legalization of homosexual marriage.”

“Introducing a system that would allow such unions would be a gesture that would directly touch the very heart of what a family should really be in Japan,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida warned.

Despite everything, the propaganda in favor of marriage for all is gaining ground in the Japanese archipelago. According to a survey conducted by the Asahi newspaper in March, 65% of Japanese people declared themselves in favor of legalization, up from 41% in 2015.

Even among voters sympathetic to the PLD, the rate of people in favor of the recognition of same-sex couples rose to 65%, the newspaper said.

Although Japan is the last country in the G7 where same-sex marriage does not have legal status, homosexuality has been legal there since 1880, and the country is considered rather liberal in the field of mores, compared to other Asian states.

Japanese Catholics represent only 0.36% of the population of the archipelago, with Christianity traditionally seen as a foreign influence, incompatible with Japanese society.

The influence of the Church - apart from its charities - is therefore relatively weak, and when Japanese bishops step up, it is often more on environmental or nuclear issues.