Shii Kazuo, chair of the Japanese Communist Party, addresses a rally at the Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2022 Festival. | via JCP
TOKYO—Calling for creating a society where sexual minorities, including LGBTQ people, can positively live as themselves, the Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2022 festival took place April 22-24 in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park under COVID-19 restrictions which limited the number of in-person participants.
Solidarity speeches were delivered by officials from foreign embassies in Tokyo and political party representatives, including Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo.
Wearing a rainbow scarf, Shii appeared on the open-air stage. Shii said that social change has transpired in regard to the issue of same-sex marriage. As an example, Shii referred to the Sapporo District Court ruling a year ago which recognized that the ban on same-sex marriage violates the Japanese Constitution clause which stipulates equality before the law. He also pointed to the fact that over half of Japan’s population now live in municipalities with a same-sex partnership recognition system.
“I believe a society with respect for LGBTQ people is a society in which everyone can live their lives with dignity,” Shii said. He expressed the determination of the Communist Party to work hard to enact an LGBTQ equality law in parliament and realize a revision of the Civil Code so that same-sex couples can get married.
After the three-day Rainbow Pride festival, about 2,000 people paraded through Tokyo’s major shopping areas of Shibuya and Harajuku, appealing to passersby to support their call for legalization of same-sex marriage.
Kawai Jun, who is in his 30s and works as a childcare worker in Tokyo, said, “Since I came out as transgender two years ago, my co-workers and children’s guardians have shown their understanding and acceptance of sexual diversity. I really appreciate this.”
Shimbun Akahata (しんぶん赤旗) is the daily newspaper of the Japanese Communist Party.