Where Are You Going, Snail? Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships in Japan

in The Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
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Japanese society is said to have been tolerant towards same-sex relationships. Never­theless, homophobia has taken root in the Japanese Society. Researchers point out that, while many Japanese acknowledge the existence of LGBT, that is, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual (LGB) and Transgender, as a social fact, they feel strong resistance to accepting LGBT individuals in members of their family or friends. This form of discrimination has become more insidious because people superficially behave in accordance with the ‘manner of reception’, but exclude LGBT from their lifeworld. Not only the public but also specialists of LGBT issues seem to be captured by an image of a tolerant society. In contradiction to such misconceptions, homophobic hate crimes, including a brutal murder, have been committed in Japan. A notorious case occurred in 2000. Six young perpetrators committed ‘homo hunting’ in over 10 incidents in Shinkiba Park in Tokyo, a well-known cruising place for gay people. They ended up beating one gay person to death with a log.

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