Kishida Creates New Role to Promote Understanding of LGBT Community

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, meets with officials from organizations that support sexual minorities, in Tokyo on Friday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday gave a special adviser a new role of facilitating understanding of the LGBT community following discriminatory remarks made against sexual minorities by an executive secretary.

The prime minister gave the new responsibility to Masako Mori, who is also in charge of women’s empowerment.

Also on Friday, Kishida met with officials from organizations that support sexual minorities at the Prime Minister’s Office. During the meeting, he apologized for remarks made by Masayoshi Arai, who said he “would hate it if [a same-sex couple] lived next to me.”

Arai was later dismissed from the position for making such comments.

“[Arai’s] remarks were extremely inappropriate,” the prime minister said. “I would like to express my sincere apology for causing unpleasant feelings [among people in the LGBT community].

“We have to strive to create a society in which diversity is respected, and all members of the public honor [each other’s] human rights and dignity.”

The officials said to Kishida that it is necessary to establish a framework to prohibit discrimination against sexual minorities, among other measures.

Mori accompanied the prime minister at the meeting.

“In line with the administration’s policy to respect diversity and protect the human rights of all people, I will work hard by listening to the people concerned,” she said to reporters.