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Saturday, June 04, 2011

Wataru Ishizaka and Taiga Ishikawa, gay politicians

石坂わたる 石川大我

This spring was remarkable in Japan for bringing into public life two out gay politicians: Wataru Ishizaka, 35,  who was elected as a councilor of Tokyo’s Nakano ward (Wataru Ishizaka website), and Taiga Ishikawa, 37, Social Democratic Party, elected as a councilor of Tokyo’s Toshima ward (main attraction: Ikebukuro) (Taiga Ishikawa website).

It was not the first time that a member of a sexual minority had been elected to public office in Japan. In 2003, the transexual, Aya Kamikawa, 43, was elected to Tokyo’s Setagaya ward council. Also, in 2005, Kanako Otsuji, 37, came out as a lesbian after having already been elected to the Greater Osaka Council. However, April 2011 was the first time openly gay candidates succeeded in being elected.

Both Ishizaka and Ishikawa are active spreading the word about sexual minorities and gay rights in the course of their political activities.


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