At the end of last week, All Japan news started its first “Rainbow Week” series of events dedicated to sexual minorities, with thousands of people marching at a parade on Sunday.
Organisers said about 12,000 people took part in the parade, which has been running for several years, and other events on Sunday, part of a programme that runs until May 6, according to the international press.
“This is our first attempt to link up with many groups” of sexual minorities, said one of the organisers, Hiroko Masuhara, 35. “The parade is a symbolic event in the (Tokyo) Rainbow Week programme.”
Masuhara married her partner at Tokyo Disney Resort last month, on March 1. After the wedding was published by various media outlets, many commenters sent the couple warm wishes, while others were less supportive, questioning whether same-sex marriage is really a civil rights issue.
Same-sex marriages are not legal in All Japan news at the moment, so the nuptials were only ceremonial. However, such a high-profile wedding hosted by a company that is very careful when it comes to its public image is considered by the local media to be a step in the right direction.
Regarding the parade at the “Rainbow Week”, Masuhara said “We have an impression that we are seeing more women and various nationalities of people participating in our parade in recent years.”