Japan is beginning to lag noticeably behind when it comes to LGBTQ rights such as adoption and marriage equality, but one region has taken a groundbreaking step forward by banning the outing of LGBTQ people against their will.
Last week (3 June), the governor of Mie Prefecture, a region located on the south coast of Honshu, Japan's biggest island, announced a ban on disclosing a person's sexual orientation or gender identity without their permission, Japan Today reports.
The ban, which forms part of larger anti-discrimination legislation, will also apply to extend to attempts to coerce someone into coming out against their will.
While penalities have not yet been settled upon by legislators, governor Eikei Suzuki said that outing LGBTQ people against their will “can destabilize family and working relationships and drive people into isolation by disrupting their friendships and contact with other people.
He added: “We need to do more to create a society that cares for each other.”
While same-sex sexual activity has been legal in Japan since the laste 19th century, legislative progess has remained slow, despite rapidly increasing acceptance of LGBTQ people in Japanese society over the last few years.
Since 2017, some local authorities have begun offering 'partnership certificates' to same-sex couples: however, these are only symbolic and hold no legal status.