LGBT activist in running to be Japan's first openly male gay MP

Published: December 10, 2014

Ivan Fernandes
Original Article:

A Tokyo politician and LGBT activist is in the running to become Japan’s first openly gay male lawmaker in the upcoming general election.

Taiga Ishikawa, 40, from the Social Democratic Party is ranked at the top of his small opposition party’s proportional representation list in Tokyo that puts him in a comfortable position to win a seat in parliament, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Ishikawa reportedly is eager to promote the legalization of marriage between same-sex couples in the Japan if he is successful in his debut at national level politics. “My goal is to promote diversity in the community,” Ishikawa was reported as saying.

He said he was inspired by international public figures that have recently come out, to run in the country’s snap general elections set for Dec 14.

Ishikawa also heads a voluntary organization that offers gay men support through social events. He publicly came out in his 2002 book “Boku no Kareshi wa Doko ni Iru?” (Where is My Boyfriend). He made history when he was elected on a party ticket to the Toshima ward assembly of Tokyo in 2011.

If elected, Ishikawa will be Japan’s first openly gay male Member of Parliament. Japan already had a lesbian MP in Kanako Otsuji from the Democratic Party of Japan, the country’s largest opposition party. She became the first openly gay politician in parliament last year after she was awarded the seat as the runner-up following the resignation of its member to the upper house.

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