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In May, former defense minister Tomomi Inada tried to get the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Policy Research Council and General Council to approve a bill that would promote Japanese people’s “understanding” of LGBTQ individuals and issues. She assumed that the Diet would pass the bill during the session that ended June 16, but hardline conservatives in the party objected to wording in the bill, and without unanimous approval it couldn’t proceed.

The press coverage of the matter has focused more on politics than on the content or purport of the bill. Inada has always been proud of her conservative credentials and obviously sees no conflict between those values and her support for sexual minorities in Japan, but certain colleagues and opinion-makers see this support as proof that she is veering from the true path.

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