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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Japan’s first openly gay politician victorious in election

By Christopher Brocklebank  -

Taiga Ishikawa, 36, won a seat in a Tokyo ward assembly in the Japanese capital’s local elections on Sunday. He is the first openly gay person to hold office in Japan.

Mr Ishikawa told AFP: “I hope my election victory will help our fellows nationwide to have hope for tomorrow, as many of them cannot accept themselves, feel lonely and isolated and even commit suicide.”

He also said: “As a ward assembly member, I would like to reinforce support for LGBT children in schools.”

Mr Ishikawa revealed his sexuality in his 2002 book Where Is My Boyfriend?. He said: “Many of my readers told me they were isolated and that my situation in the book was so similar to theirs.”
In response, Mr Ishikawa founded a non-profit organisation called Peer Friends which hosts get-togethers in various Japanese cities which allow young gay men the opportunity to meet others.

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