UN official: Japan’s businesses should take lead on LGBT+ rights

A senior U.N. official in Japan called upon the Japanese business sector to play a more active role in supporting LGBT+ rights in a recent interview with the Japan Times.

“I think there is less progress both in laws and in public attitudes in Japan than the other six countries of the G7,” Andrew Gilmour, assistant secretary-general of the U.N. Human Rights Office, said. “We are hoping that we can encourage better improvement, better acceptance.”

“The most powerful element of a society is the private sector. That’s why we are aiming to talk to them,” Gilmour continued.

Japan’s climate for LGBT+ people has improved in recent years, in part because its powerful corporate sector has begun focusing on LGBT+ customers and talent.

Gilmour believes the 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympics will provide an opportunity for Japan to showcase its improved commitment to LGBT+ equality. “2020 is really a catalyst” he said, referring to the games as a “showcase for human rights”.

Read more at The Japan Times