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Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett

16th of June 2023



Japan Passes Controversial LGBT Understanding Bill, Criticized for Lack of Human Rights Guarantees

Japan has passed a LGBT Understanding Bill. But it has sparked controversy due to its lack of human rights guarantees. As the only Group of Seven (G7) nation without legal protections for same-sex unions.

Japan faced pressure to pass this legislation before hosting the G7 leaders’ summit. However, the bill’s wording and concerns over potential discrimination have raised doubts about its effectiveness.

Contested LGBT Understanding Bill and Wording

The LGBT Understanding Bill underwent significant debate and was submitted to parliament just a day before the G7 summit began. Despite an initial commitment to pass it earlier.

The legislation passed in the lower house, with some lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party deviating from party directives during voting.

Critics argue that the original draft’s strong stance against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity was weakened to allow for “no unfair discrimination,”. Which they believe indirectly condones bigotry.

Many activists and supporters of LGBT rights initially welcomed the LGBT Understanding Bill, albeit acknowledging its limitations.

However, with the changes in the wording, there is growing disillusionment among some. Suggesting that having no legislation might have been preferable.

Takeharu Kato, a lawyer and member of “Marriage for all Japan,” expressed disappointment with the revised bill, which he believed fell short of meaningful progress.

LGBT Understanding Bill

Japan has faced pressure from other G7 nations, particularly the United States, to legalize same-sex marriage.

Economic leaders have stressed the importance of diversity and representation for the LGBT community to maintain international competitiveness.

Public opinion in Japan also shows significant support for same-sex marriage, with approximately 70% of the country allowing same-sex partnership agreements.

However, these partnership rights still fall short of the legal protections and benefits afforded by marriage.

While Japan’s passing of the LGBT understanding bill marks a step forward in recognizing and promoting awareness of the LGBT community, it has faced criticism for lacking human rights guarantees.

The changes in the bill’s wording have raised concerns about the potential for discrimination.

The pressure from international partners and public support for same-sex marriage highlight the need for Japan to continue addressing LGBT rights and move toward greater legal protection and equality.

Japan Passes Controversial LGBT Understanding Bill, Criticized for Lack of Human Rights Guarantees