LGBT Pride Month Event Raises Awareness

Patrick Linehan, the U.S. Consul General in Osaka, chats with Diet Member Kanako Otsuji on the sidelines of the LGBT Pride Month event.

June 10 - Ambassador Roos hosted a reception at his residence on June 7 celebrating the start of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Pride Month in the United States.

Along with Ambassador Roos, renowned television personality Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, transgender model and personality Kayo Sato, and Diet Member Kanako Otsuji delivered remarks at the reception, which highlighted the U.S. Government's support for Japan's LGBT rights movement and LGBT community.

The main theme of the event was a commitment to increase awareness of LGBT rights in Japan, to demonstrate that LGBT rights are vital human rights, and to stress that those rights should be discussed openly. This event brought together government officials, Diet members, NGO leaders and gay rights activists, as well as businesspeople, entertainers, and members of the community.

TV personality and goodwill ambassador Tetsuko Kuroyanagi offers a supportive message.

The reception comes at a time when LGBT issues are being discussed with increased frequency in both the United States and Japan. The U.S. Supreme Court heard two historic gay rights cases in March, and these were widely reported in the Japanese media. Japan now has its first openly-LGBT national-level politician, Kanako Otsuji, a member of the Upper House.

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo supported Tokyo Rainbow Week from April 27-May 6. Ambassador Roos published an op-ed on April 27 reaffirming the U.S. Government's support for LGBT rights and outlining outreach efforts by Mission Japan.