Japan’s major opposition party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) pledged to protect LGBT rights as it announced its election promises on Monday.
It would implement anti-discrimination legislation and legalize same-sex marriage if it wins upper house elections this year, party president Yukio Edano said according to local media.
The party is stressing diversity as the source of creativity and a vigorous society, NHK reported.
Japan will next month elect 124 of the 245 members of the House of Councillors, the country’s upper house of parliament.
Conservative Japan does not allow same-sex marriage. National laws do not protect LGBTI people from discrimination.
But, in Tokyo, a city-wide anti-discrimination bill protects against discrimination based on gender identity or sexuality.
What’s more, laws force transgender people to undergo sterilization before they can legally change gender.
Party politics in Japan
Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is known for its anti-LGBT stance. Its lawmakers have made homophobic comments. And, the administration has shown little interest in advancing LGBT rights.
But, in the last year, the CDP has drafted bills to end discrimination and bring marriage equality.
Earlier this month, the CDP joined other opposition parties to draft a bill that would change the country’s definition of marriage from a ‘man and a woman’.
In October last year, CDP announced it would introduce LGBTI anti-discrimination legislation to the country’s legislature.
But, the ruling, conservative, LDP currently holds a two-thirds majority in parliament.