The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly approved the measure even though the Liberal Democratic Party opposed it. According to The Japan Times, they said the content and preparation were sloppy and stressed that the rule may curtail freedom of expression.
And the independent assembly faction, Kagayake Tokyo, has abstained, pointing to lack of penal provisions and emphasizing that the topic requires more thorough discussion.
This order was created in anticipation of the 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Japan.
The Olympic Charter states: “The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Olympic Charter shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
The anti-discrimination clause was added in 2014 after the controversy that occurred before and during the Sochi Olympics Games due to Russia's anti-"gay propaganda" law.
Tokyo's non-discrimination ordinance will come into effect in April 2019.
- allows a better recognition of same-sex couples (such as renting a home as a family or hospital visits)
- includes awareness-raising measures to improve understanding of LGBT people
- plans the creation of counseling centers for the LGBT community to provide support
- prohibits hate speech in public spaces
Also, the names of groups or individuals promoting anti-LGBT hate could be disclosed and hateful content on their website could be removed if the governor believes that their activity violates human rights.
Tokyo's non-discrimination ordinance represents a further step forward on LGBT rights in Japan. Things are still progressing, only at the local level for now, but that's moving forward and it's a good thing.