Japan’s new education minister pledges support for LGBTI students

Japan’s new minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology on 14 October pledged support for LGBTI students. Hiroshi Hase said teachers, classmates and family had little understanding of the issues they face.

‘Let me be clear on this: I believe sexual-minority students at elementary and junior high schools have been left out,’ The Japan Times reported him as saying.

The former human rights lawyer co-launched a multi-party caucus to examine anti-gay discrimination in March. And in April, Hase, then then-vice education minister, requested the ministry issue a landmark notice urging schools better accommodate LGBTI students.

‘Now I am considering preparations for the next step,’ he said.

Hase succeeded Hakubun Shimomura, who stepped down last week for mishandling the construction of the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Hase, who competed in the 1984 Los Angeles games as a wrestler, said he would use the event to promote social issues.