At Tokyo Pride, Japanese Communists link up equality of gender and sexuality
Shii Kazuo, chair of the Japanese Communist Party, addresses a rally at the Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2022 Festival. | via JCP

TOKYO—The Japanese Communist Party’s Gender Equality Commission on June 26 held a street campaign in Tokyo in support of Pride, displaying vibrant party banners in rainbow colors.

Commission head Kurabayashi Akiko, who is also vice chair of the JCP’s group in the Upper House of the Japanese Parliament (Diet), said:

“We will continue our efforts to help realize a gender-equal society so that people of all genders can legally marry someone they love. We will also keep working hard to create better conditions for people to have children if they want in order to reverse the falling rate of births. This is the role of politics.”

The commission’s deputy head, Yamazoe Taku, who is also a member of parliament, stated, “Join us in our campaign to change politics in order for everyone, regardless of sex, to live with dignity, to be oneself.”

Another MP, Nihi Sohei spoke on the newly-enacted LGBTQ law which the four-party coalition (the ruling Liberal Democratic-Komei parties, “Ishin,” and the Democratic Party for the People) steamrollered through in the latest ordinary Diet session. Nihi criticized the new law for potentially encouraging discrimination against sexual minorities.

He said, “Japan is a country where human rights are not properly ensured for all genders. We ask for your cooperation, beyond the political party boundaries, to enable Japanese society to finally meet international human rights standards.”

Many young people stopped to listen to JCP speakers and received handbills calling for a gender-free society. A 22-year-old student from the United States was surprised to hear that the option to use both surnames after marriage does not exist in Japan.

A woman in her 20s said, “Women are paid low wages compared to men and are rarely promoted to executive positions. I want politicians to work to transform society.”

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Shimbun Akahata
Shimbun Akahata

Shimbun Akahata (しんぶん赤旗) is the daily newspaper of the Japanese Communist Party.