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Japan’s first lady joins crowds at Tokyo gay pride parade

Japan’s first lady joins crowds at Tokyo gay pride parade

Akie Abe, the first lady of Japan, joined gay, lesbian and transgender people celebrating gay pride in Tokyo, Japan today (27 April).

Abe was joined by over 3,000 participants in the Shibuya district of Tokyo.

The 51-year-old, who is the wife of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, wore a white suit adorned with rainbow badges.

She went on to post colourful pictures on her Facebook page of her on a pride float next to a drag queen, smiling and waving to the crowds.

‘I want to help build a society where anyone can conduct happy, enriched lives without facing discrimination’ she wrote on her page.

‘I had the pleasure of spending fun time filled with smiles. Thank you.’

Some of the participants at the parade held banners which read: ‘AIDS is not over’ and Abe has been involved with the fight against AIDS since joining a commission set up by UNAIDS and the Lancet medical journal last year.

Her husband reportedly spent the day visiting victims of a tsunami in March 2011.

Abe is considered a popular public figure next to her conservative husband and she has spoken about her opposition to nuclear power and her love of Korean pop culture.

Last month, authorities in Tokyo repeatedly banned a poster about HIV awareness aimed at gay men because underpants were visible on one of the cartoon men.