Senior members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party are in disagreement over whether same-sex partners of state guests should be invited to banquets hosted by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

After LDP General Council Chairman Wataru Takeshita voiced his opposition to the idea at a party meeting on Thursday, Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Seiko Noda expressed discomfort about his remarks Friday. She stopped short though of criticizing him outright.

"Personally, as someone who values diversity, I want Japan to be somewhere where any sort of person can live freely," Noda said at a news conference Friday.