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Tokyo Rainbow Pride marchers dazzle in colorful parade

Tokyo Rainbow Pride marchers dazzle in colorful parade

Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2018

Thousands marched today (6 May) in Tokyo Rainbow Pride – one of the city’s two annual gay Pride parades.

Over 7,000 people marched through the country’s capital from Shibuya to Harajuku. This is up from about 5,000 people in 2016.

This year’s theme was ‘Love and Equality,’ according to AFP.

37 groups entered the parade, including the European ambassador to Japan.

Finalists from Japan’s first ever Mr Gay Japan competition also participated in the parade.

Winner of the competition Shogo said on Instagram it was his first ever Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade.

He wrote in a caption: ‘Lots of people came to say hello and took pictures with me. I have never felt so comfortable about my sexuality in Japan and would love more people to feel the same!’

A post shared by Shogo (@mrgayjapanshogo) on

Popular Japanese music artist Ayumi Hamasaki performed her hit J-pop songs. Also in attendance was American model and actor Max Emerson.

LGBTI rights in Japan

Tokyo’s first Pride parade was in 1994, but only drew small crowds. Due to this, it went through a hiatus from 2008 to 2010. And then again in 2011.

As a result, organizers set up Tokyo Rainbow Pride in 2012 to ensure that a Pride parade would be held in the city if Tokyo Pride could not follow through.

The Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade happens on the last day of Rainbow Week.

LGBTI rights in Japan remain vastly unachieved and can very by each prefecture. Same-sex marriage is not legal and same-sex parents cannot adopt children.

Anti-discrimination laws exist in Tokyo, but not for the rest of the country.

Trans people also still have to jump through extreme hoops to have their gender updated on official documentation.

Check out some of the most colorful photos from the day: