Harvey Milk is part of U.S. history but Japan has yet to see anyone like him 32 years after his assassination, according to Taiga Ishikawa, an openly gay candidate running for the Toshima Ward Assembly in Tokyo.
Political foray: Taiga Ishikawa, a gay candidate running for the Toshima Ward Assembly in April, poses at a shopping area in Tokyo’s Sugamo district on Feb. 10. SATOKO KAWASAKI PHOTO
Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office. After becoming the city supervisor of San Francisco in November 1977, he was shot to death after 11 months in office and is remembered as a historic gay rights activist.
Ishikawa, a 36-year-old writer and activist with inside experience in politics, said he is not trying to become Japan’s Harvey Milk. But what he is aiming for as a politician is to make his neighborhood more friendly to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and foreigners.
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