The Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Friday (5 October) passed a bill to tackle discrimination against the LGBTI community ahead of the Olympics in 2020.
‘This act upholds the goal of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to make Tokyo a city that upholds the human rights values of banning any sort of discrimination as stated in the Olympic Charter’, the law states.
Tokyo authorities drafted the bill in advance of hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics, Human Rights Watch, who consulted on the bill, said.
It prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Furthermore, it commits the city’s government to conduct LGBTI rights education programs.
‘The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, citizens, and enterprises may not unduly discriminate on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation’ the law states.
The government will ‘conduct measures needed to make sure human rights values are rooted in all corners of the city and diversity is respected in the city’.
‘Enshrined in law’
Japan had enshrined in law its commitment to hosting an inclusive and rights-respecting Olympic games’, said Kanae Doi, Japan director at Human Rights Watch.
But, Doi said, this new law should set an example for Japan’s national government.
‘Japan is proud to host a human rights-friendly Olympics in 2020, and the government should use the next two years to pass laws and carry out policies that comprehensively protect everyone’, she said.
Japan has recently made some moves to improve the lives of its LGBTI people. Some of the country’s prefectures and Tokyo’s wards recognize same-sex partnership.
In 2016, Japan issued a guidebook on LGBTI issues to teachers.
But, Japan has no national legislation protecting LGBT people from discrimination and does not recognize same-sex relations at a national level.