Prejudice and discrimination against sexual minorities are a growing human rights issue in today’s society. A recent survey by a civic group based in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, gives a glimpse into the positions taken by political parties on the matter — with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party standing out from others in not viewing issues surrounding LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people as human rights problems. Though the issue has yet to come to the fore in political debate in this country, lawmakers and their parties should realize that they are in a position to play an important role in helping solve the difficulties and worries experienced by sexual minorities.

One major problem is that many people may not be conscious of the issues involving sexual minorities. For example, more than one-third of respondents gave no answers or said “Don’t know” when asked to name problems sexual minorities are facing in a survey taken in 2011 by the Fukuoka Prefectural Government. Citizens on their part need to be exposed to relevant information more frequently so that they will have a better understanding of the problems sexual minorities are facing.

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