• Kyodo

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The ruling Liberal Democratic Party approved a cross-party bill Monday to promote greater awareness among the public of sexual minorities in Japan.

Approval of the bill was delayed in an LDP panel meeting last week due to conservative concerns that it would “affect society.”

The LDP, which emphasizes promoting understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, which focuses on eradicating discrimination, bridged their gap through consultations, according to lawmakers.

Based on the outline drawn up by the LDP panel, the bill includes the words “discrimination is unacceptable” among its philosophical ideals.

LDP lawmaker Kazuo Yana said in a party meeting last Thursday that members of the LGBT community went against the preservation of the species, while sexual minority couples were not “productive” — remarks that drew objections from opposition lawmakers.

Another LDP member, Mio Sugita, came under fire in 2018 for saying in a magazine article that the government should not support sexual-minority couples because they cannot bear offspring and thus are not “productive.”

Although a number of municipalities across Japan offer partnerships between members of the LGBT community, marriage is not legally recognized in the country.

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