US Ambassador Concerned About LGBT Community in Japan

The leaders of the “generalized West” have recently demonstrated their cavalier behavior, even with their own key allies. It is sufficient to refer to everything that surrounds one of the most significant terrorist attacks of this century, which occurred in the Baltic Sea.

Against this backdrop, US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel stated at a press conference on February 15 that he expects the Japanese parliament to pass “clear and unambiguous” legislation to protect the rights of sexual minorities.

It had a multifaceted backstory, which can be summarized briefly. But first, let’s get to the point. The fact is that traditionalism can still be found in contemporary Japanese society. However, on a rapidly diminishing scale since the “new normal” could not, of course, bypass one of the G7’s main members. On whose behalf (and behind the backs of its officials) “new norms” of human socio-cultural behavior are spread on a global scale. Furthermore, these new rules directly contradict the centuries-old norms of views on the nature of the world order and man’s place in it that are inherent in all world systems.

The start of the global campaign for the introduction of the “new normal” was marked by another exacerbation of women’s equality issues in the form of the worldwide Me too movement. It now appears that its inception was only the first act in a planned long-term action. For the issue of equal rights now extends to several dozen “gender variations”.

At the same time, the ever-increasing aggressiveness with which this topic is maintained in public information space causes a natural reaction of rejection in the vast majority of the population, many of whose representatives continue to identify as one of the two traditional genders. Some of them lose their nerve and, as a result, make mistakes in the form of expressing their dissatisfaction with the unfolding process of violence over the very space in which they are immersed in order to extract information of interest to them.

Such was the case with a Japanese government official who stated on February 3, 2023 that he did not want to live next to members of sexual minorities. He was commenting on Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s own statement two days earlier about his doubts concerning the advisability of same-sex marriages when he publicly expressed such harshness (during a meeting with journalists).

They were the words of “not a young man, but a (very experienced) statesman” concerned about his country’s steeply declining birth rate. The already visible consequences of this disaster could be compared to what potential participants in the next global massacre are portraying today.

This type of propaganda significantly contributes to the creation of an anxious atmosphere in the assessment of future prospects, which is in no way conducive to the realization of young people’s natural desire to reproduce. Another similar factor is the equally dubious prospect of material security for the newly formed families.

Furthermore, in Japan’s case, measures to “counter Sino-Korean-Russian aggressive aspirations” are in direct conflict with the problem of finding resources to (at the very least) mitigate the effectiveness of the second factor. For an insoluble dichotomy is becoming more and more apparent: either we buy Tomahawks (in the U.S., for example) and design our own missiles for the same purpose, or we provide all kinds of material support to young people.

The third factor in the same series is the development of the aforementioned process of introducing the “new normal” into public life (so far and mostly in the same “free-democratic world”). On February 1, the country’s current Prime Minister only very cautiously questioned its usefulness. His words that a legislated right to same-sex marriage “could change attitudes to family, values and society” came a week after his own policy speech in parliament, when the topic of declining birth rate was first included in the list of the country’s main problems.

It was this very statement that the aforementioned official from the government servicing department commented on (in an unfortunate form, we agree). In this connection, an unimaginable media uproar immediately arose. It was roughly on the same scale as former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori’s “sexist” remark two years ago who led the preparations for the next Summer Olympics.  The author of the quoted verbal gaffe was fired the very next day, and the head of the Government Secretariat apologized publicly for the incident.

Of course, the form in which the mentioned official expressed his disagreement with the “global trend” raises questions. But it was the form that became the starting point for a series of subsequent events, including the US ambassador’s statement partially quoted above. Among others, it was the latter’s assessment of the head of the host country’s government that drew attention. Namely, the “confidence in the leadership qualities” of F. Kishida was expressed with regard to the prospects of the adoption of the law which is still under discussion. What a way to go about it, though!

We note the extreme untimeliness of the scandal that broke out for the current Japanese Prime Minister. For a variety of reasons, all of which contribute to the falling popularity of the incumbent government. And this could have negative consequences for the ruling party coalition on the eve of the upcoming parliamentary elections. Which F. Kishida may initiate early, in order to gain support for the new National Security Strategy, which is subjected to serious criticism. Among other reasons, due to problems with financing its implementation.

In addition, the information uproar has sharply complicated the situation of those factions of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party who oppose the legislative approval of the right to same-sex marriages. Kishida, who has so far tried to balance on this issue, has now received a recommendation from a representative of the “big brother” on how to behave.

I can’t envy the present Japanese Prime Minister, who has taken urgent measures to protect the rights of sexual minorities. Quite a prudent move since Japan will host the next G7 summit in May. Kishida obviously wants to avoid possible accusations from his colleagues that his country is lagging behind in the implementation of the “global trends”.

However, the fate of his distant predecessor as Prime Minister, the aforementioned Yoshiro Mori, is also beginning to cause concern. The process of searching for traces of corruption during the preparation for the Olympics 2021, which has been going on for months, is probably getting closer to the first arrests. On February 7, former Japan Olympic Committee functionary Yasuo Mori was apprehended. He seems to be just the namesake of the former prime minister. But it looks like the shells of the country’s judicial and legal system are already falling somewhere near the trench of this latter as well.

So you don’t want to encroach on the sacred in the form of the “new normal.” Even inadvertently and, as they say, “under stress”.

The fact of the above-mentioned, barely covert rebuke from a plenipotentiary representative of the current world leader to the Prime Minister of the host country, which is the closest regional ally, is yet another confirmation of this.

Vladimir Terekhov, expert on the issues of the Asia-Pacific region, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.

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