LDP at odds on allowing same-sex partners of state guests the right to attend Imperial banquets
Japan Times -- Nov 25
Senior members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party are in disagreement over whether same-sex partners of state guests should be invited to banquets hosted by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

After LDP General Council Chairman Wataru Takeshita voiced his opposition to the idea at a party meeting on Thursday, Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Seiko Noda expressed discomfort about his remarks Friday. She stopped short though of criticizing him outright.

"Personally, as someone who values diversity, I want Japan to be somewhere where any sort of person can live freely," Noda said at a news conference Friday.

At the same time, she said the LDP "is an open party where we can bounce diverse opinions off each other."

At a party meeting in the city of Gifu, Takeshita said he is "opposed" to the idea. "It doesn't fit with Japan's traditions," he said.

Takeshita brought up the issue of same-sex partners after claiming the Imperial Household Agency had difficulty making its decision to invite the common-law wife of then French President Francois Hollande to such a banquet in 2013.

On Friday, he expressed regret in front of reporters, saying he should not have made such a remark. But he added that discussions should be made on this issue at some time in the future.

News source: Japan Times
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