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Japanese MP says LGBTI people are ‘unproductive’, should not get welfare

Japanese MP says LGBTI people are ‘unproductive’, should not get welfare

head shot of brunette japanese lady

A Japanese lawmaker has come under fire after negative comments about the LGBTI community.

Mio Sugita from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) made the comments during a 2015 TV interview where she said LGBTI people were ‘unproductive’. Sugita doubled down on her beliefs more recently, in a magazine opinion piece.

She also said the society’s that are more accepting LGBTI people the more they risk ‘increasing unhappy people’.

Sugita, 51, also suggested that being LGBTI might simply be a phase young people go through. She made the comments directly after saying teachers don’t have time to deal with LGBTI students.

‘Adolescent children sometimes have strange feelings. I grew up in a girl’s high school, so there were only female people around me,’ Sugita said on ‘From the Country of the Rising Sun’ show.

‘If you have a cool girl, you can write a love letter to her. But as years go by, you can usually fall in love with a man, get married and become a mother.’

Sugita then said teaching students about LGBTI relationships it would teach them it’s ok to be gay and society would no longer be a ‘normal place’.

Japanese LGBTI students face shockingly high levels of bullying at school, even at the hands of their own teachers.

A 2017 survey showed more than 50% of LGBTI people were bullied at school. Nearly 70% of survey respondents said their teacher did nothing to help them.

No welfare for LGBTI

The lawmaker got herself into hot water again this week after her opinion piece went live. In the controversial four-page article, she argued that LGBTI people should not get welfare because according to her they ‘do not reproduce’.

‘Those men and women do not reproduce,’ she wrote.

‘In other words, they are “unproductive”. I wonder if it is appropriate to spend taxpayer money on them.’

She said Japan would ‘collapse’ if it became more accepting of LGBTI people.

‘A society deprived of “common sense” and “normalcy” is destined to lose “order” and eventually collapse. I don’t want Japan to be a society like this.’

Backlash

Sugita’s colleagues in the LDP were quick to distance themselves from her saying her comments do not reflect the party’s policies.

She also faced severe backlash from the LGBTI community.

‘It can be tied to the thinking of the perpetrator who killed the disabled people in Sagamihara and to the Nazis who slaughtered homosexuals,’ LGBTI inclusion specialist, Hiroko Masuhara, told Asahi.

Sugita took to Twitter to defend herself saying a senior member of her party had encouraged her opinions. But she soon deleted all tweets relating to the article.

On Monday, Sugita tweeted that she had reported a ‘self-described gay person’ to police after they allegedly sent her death threats.

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