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Japan launches first LGBTI safe house

Japan launches first LGBTI safe house

Japan's first LGBTI safe house (Photo: Facebook)

Japan opened its first LGBTI safe house in Tokyo this week.

Nijiiro House supports LGBTI people who have fallen into homelessness due to their sexuality or gender identity. It also offers support for mental health issues and employment.

The house mainly helps gay and bisexual men as well as trans and non-binary people Yuta Onaga from Nijiiro House told Gay Star News.

‘They are faced with unemployment, serious financial problems, mental health problems, physical or verbal violence from intimate partner and family, and issues relating to HIV’ Yuta Onaga said.

He said they work closely with other organizations to help the guest become financially independent.

Japan’s largely conservative society does not allow same-sex marriage. There is no nationwide discrimination to protect LGBTI people.

The safe house raised US$14,000 in crowdfunding to support the house. Nijiiro House also has private funding from independent donors and has a staff of 12.

The LGBTI safe house welcomed its first guest this month. The gay man was being harassed in the workplace. He lost his job and therefore his accommodation.

‘I have a gap in my career and feel very desperate’ he said, according to the safe house’s Facebook post.

Yuta Onaga hopes to raise more funds and open more rooms in the near future.

LGBTI Rights in Japan

A recent survey found 8.9 percent of Japan’s population identify as LGBT.

Importantly, half of LGBT people surveyed said they had not come out at work. It also revealed that only 70 percent of people had heard of the term LGBT.

growing number of cites throughout Japan have allowed same-sex couples to officially register with their local municipal governments under the partnership oath system.

Last month, however, ten couples announced they would be suing the governmentfor its stance on marriage equality.