In anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympics, the city has passed a law banning discrimination against LGBT people.
This law is in line with the International Olympic Committee’s 2014 “Olympic Agenda 2020,” which required all future host cities to ban LGBT discrimination. This is in part because of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia, where the government’s anti-gay propaganda laws led to forced evictions and media censorship, reported Human Rights Watch.
“The authorities now need to put the policy into action and end anti-LGBT discrimination in schools, workplaces, and the wider society,” Director of Japan at Human Rights Watch Kanae Doi said.
Homosexuality is not criminalized by Japanese law, but gay marriage and LGBT protections aren’t nationally recognized. Transgender people are also diagnosed with “Gender Identity Disorder” and are forced to have unnecessary procedures to officially change their gender marking on record.
LGBT rights are improving slowly but surely, however. A 2016 guidebook issued by the Education Ministry has a section about how to treat LGBT students, and in 2017 the Ministry updated their national bullying prevention policy to include sections on LGBT students.