Kishida to Replace Executive Secretary for Remarks against Sexual Minorities

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Masayoshi Arai

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday revealed his intention to replace Masayoshi Arai, one of his executive secretaries, due to the discriminatory remarks he made against the LGBT community and couples hoping for same-sex marriage.

While talking with reporters at his official residence Kishida said, “These remarks are flagrant and in absolute opposition to the government’s policy. I have to consider whether I should allow him to stay in post.”

He then added, “The remarks should be strictly dealt with. I will soon decide on a response.”

Arai, 55, made the remarks during unofficial talks with the media at the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday evening.

When asked about couples hoping for same-sex marriage, Arai said, “I would hate it if [such a couple] lived next to me. I would hate to even see [them].”

Then, when asked about legalizing same-sex marriage, he said, “If it is allowed, there will be people who will abandon Japan.”

He officially apologized and withdrew the remarks later that night.

Arai was formerly a bureaucrat of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry. Since October 2021, when the Kishida administration was put together, he has served as an executive secretary for the prime minister.