Japan’s First Lady Joins Gay Pride Parade in Tokyo
Japan's first lady Akie Abe is making headlines Monday after joining in Tokyo's annual gay pride parade Sunday in order to show her support for her country's LGBT community, the AFP reports.
Abe, 51, is married to the conservative leader of Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and is known for her liberal views.
During the event, she wore a white suit and stood next to a drag queen as a crowd of about 3,000 people marched through the streets of Shibuya - Tokyo's trendy shopping district. After the event, she took to Facebook and wrote:
"I want to help build a society where anyone can conduct happy, enriched lives without facing discrimination. I had the pleasure of spending fun time filled with smiles. Thank you."
AFP goes on to describe Akie Abe: "Unlike traditional Japanese first ladies, Akie Abe has projected a cheerful confidence, freely speaking her mind and making remarks that often resonated well with the modern public. She has voiced her opposition to nuclear power and scepticism about a trans-Pacific trade deal and has passionately embraced Korean pop culture."
Gay marriage is currently not legal in Japan. According to a recent poll, however, 54 percent of people in the island nation believe Japanese same-sex couples should have marriage rights, Wikipedia notes.