Japanese out politician urges South Korea to improve LGBT rights

Taiga Ishikawa, Japan’s only gay politician, has spoken about South Korea’s progress on LGBT rights.

He attended the Korea Queer Festival, which was protested against by conservative Christian groups. Police attempted to ban the parade, on public safety grounds, but the ban was overturned by the courts.

Mr Ishikawa said: “I was shocked to hear that the parade was blocked by the state forces. It saddened me. Then it hit me; there isn’t an openly LGBT lawmaker in Korea yet. Policymaking in Japan as a whole is conducted as if sexual minorities do not exist. I wish to be an advocate of LGBTs, as I am one myself."

Mr Ishikawa became Japan’s first gay politician in 2011, when he won a seat on the Tokyo Assembly. He has been firm advocate for LGBT rights. Read More