Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida has fired a top government aide who made derogatory remarks about LGBT couples.
Kishida had talked about issues surrounding same-sex marriage in parliament, stating that a decision to allow same-sex marriage needed to be carefully considered because of its potential impact on traditional family structures.
Arai reacted to the remarks afterwards, telling reporters that he “wouldn’t like it if [LGBT couples] lived next door” and “doesn’t even want to look at them.”
He added that it would “change the way society is” and “quite a few people would abandon this country,” according to Kyodo News.
In response, Kishida said he had dismissed Arai, adding: “We have been respecting diversity and realising an inclusive society.”
Kishida said the remarks were “outrageous” and “completely incompatible” with his government’s policies.
Arai later apologized, stating that his remarks were not appropriate and were not representative of the prime minister’s views.
Japan is a country still largely bound by traditional gender roles and family values and is the only G7 nation that does not recognise same-sex marriage although recent polling suggests most Japanese people are now in support gay marriage.
Also a number of same-sex couples have also filed lawsuits across Japan in recent years arguing that the ban on same-sex marriage violates the country’s constitution.