Japan's First Lady Appears At Tokyo Pride Parade

Japan's First Lady Akie Abe broke from her husband's conservative reputation and joined in Tokyo Gay Pride on Sunday to show support for the country's LGBT community. 

Straitstimes reports:

The 51-year-old wife of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe donned a white suit to stand on a float with a drag queen, as some 3,000 participants marched through the trendy Shibuya business and shopping district.

Mrs Akie Abe, known for her liberal inclinations, wrote on her Facebook page later that she has been involved in the issue since joining a commission set up by UNAIDS and the Lancet medical journal last year.

"I want to help build a society where anyone can conduct happy, enriched lives without facing discrimination," she wrote.



This is great!  Thank you Ms. Abe for your support.

However, are the wives of Prime Ministers in countries that are constitutional monarchies actually referred to as "First Ladies?"  How about in countries that have both a prime minister and a president or other elected Head of State?  Don't the wives of the actual Heads of State occupy the role of "First Lady" (under the parliamentary form of government, the Prime Minister is the Head of Government not the State)?  So really the Empress of Japan is the "First Lady" since her husband, the Emperor, is the actual Head of State. 

I know that is a minor quibble here, but I'm just curious.  Still happy for her support though.

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