Post submitted by Ashley Fowler, former HRC Global Coordinator

Last week, HRC staff met with Hideyuki Nishimura, a Japanese LGBT advocate from the organization Equal Marriage Alliance (EMA) Japan.  Nishimura is a former Japanese diplomat with degrees from George Washington University and the University of Virginia.

At the meeting, HRC staff and EMA shared information and experiences regarding marriage equality efforts in the United States and in Japan. EMA is currently working to achieve marriage equality in Japan through national legislation in the Diet, which is the national parliament.

In March this year, a cross-party parliamentary league on LGBT issues was formed in the Diet. This demonstrates political support for LGBT human rights from across the political spectrum and is a positive development. EMA hopes that like-minded parliamentarians from different parties and their allies in civil society will jointly work to achieve LGBT human rights, including marriage equality, in Japan. 

Some leading Japanese opinion makers, including Akie Abe, the prime minister's spouse, also support LGBT equality. But much work remains to be done to achieve full LGBT equality in Japan.

Nishimura and HRC staff discussed potential future partnerships between the two organizations. Together, HRC and Nishimura looked for ways to collaborate on moving forward the marriage equality effort in Japan. 

This partnership is part of EMA Japan’s larger outreach initiatives. While in D.C., Nishimura met with other LGBT advocacy groups, congressional staffers and officials from the U.S. Department of State.  

Learn more about HRC’s work around the globe here.


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