Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, is “destroying” Japan’s culture by pushing pro-LGBTQ+ legislation, a journalist from Okinawa said.
Masako Ganaha slammed Emanuel, former Chicago mayor, for “overt interference” in Japanese domestic affairs, saying Emanuel should “fix Chicago before ruining my country.”
Emanuel, who reportedly was seen at the April 23 Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade, has said he has “full confidence” the Japanese government will ban discrimination against LGBTQ people, the Associated Press reported in February.
That push hasn’t gone well.
“Many Japanese people are so angry about this obvious overt interference in domestic affairs. And to begin with, I have to say that there are no discriminatory [policies] against LGBT[Q] people in Japan,” Gahana told Fox & Friends.
“What they are doing is to push LGBT[Q] ideology to us, and it’s destroying our culture.”
The effort to legalize same-sex marriages and ban discrimination comes after an aide to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters he wouldn’t want to live next to LGBTQ people and that citizens would flee Japan if same-sex marriages were allowed. Kishida fired the aide, Masayoshi Arai.
Japan signed a G-7 summit communique in June calling for “full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in all their diversity as well as LGBTIQ+ persons in politics, economics, education and all other spheres of society.”
Activists are pushing Japan to keep that international pledge.
“The equality countdown begins now. As I said at Tokyo Rainbow Pride and will say again: no one should have patience when it comes to equal rights for all,” Emanuel tweeted recently, according to The Associated Press. “It’s time for a new era where members of the LGBTQI+ community feel at home in Japan and the US.”
Kishida’s governing Liberal Democratic Party has begun preparing legislation to promote awareness of LGBTQ rights but not mandate them. But campaigns for equal rights for sexual minorities have faced resistance from Kashida’s party.
An attempt to enact an equality awareness promotion law before the 2021 Tokyo Olympics was quashed by the party.
“Japan is now considering … passing the law, so-called anti-discrimination legislation, protecting LGBTQ rights, but it seems like it’s coming from abroad,” Ganaha said in her Fox interview.
“And those LGBTQ ideology is not targeting only Japan, but, of course, your country and all of the countries in Europe, all over the world. So it’s part of the destruction of our countries.
“Because we have this G-7 in May … Japanese politicians are making [the] excuse we have to meet the international standards, but it’s not the case. What’s actually happening is the destruction of our culture.”
More than 200 local municipalities, including Tokyo, have introduced partnership certificates for same-sex couples allowing them to rent apartments and sign documents in medical emergencies, and for inheritance.
The certificates aren’t legally binding. Japan is the only G-7 nation that hasn’t legalized same-sex marriage.