As Tokyo prepares to host the upcoming 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the city’s local government is looking to polish up its image on LGBTQ rights in order to more closely align the Japanese capital with the spirit of the Olympic Charter.
According to the Japan Mainichi, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will propose new legislation that would ban discrimination against LGBTQ folks.
The ordinance would be the first in Japan to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ individuals.
Established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Olympic Charter defines the “Fundamental Principles of Olympism” as the “enjoyment of the rights and freedoms” being protected “without discrimination of any kind, such as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
While the proposed ordinance is certainly a positive step forward for LGBTQ people, some activists are concerned about what, if any, punishments would come from violating the new ordinance.
Currently eight cities in Japan recognize same-sex relationships through civil partnerships, although Tokyo is not included on that list.
In 2015, a survey of 1,259 people in Japan (admittedly a very small sample considering the population of the country) showed a slight majority (51%) of support for marriage equality.
The poll also showed, however, that 72% of those who responded said they would “feel reluctant to accept the fact that their child is gay.”
No wonder Tokyo is trying to improve its outlook on LGBTQ social positions.