Osaka stops putting rainbow marks on public toilets after complaints from LGBT communities
soranews24.com -- Apr 22
Osaka has been considered something of a pioneer in LGBT rights in Japan. Back in 2013, Yodogawa Ward was the first government body in the country to officially declare support for LGBT communities. While merely a symbolic gesture at first, it has spread into a larger movement of sensitivity that now includes all wards in Osaka.

Sweeping regulations have been made in efforts to accommodate all lifestyles in municipal affairs such as filling out applications that require gender and training staff to be open to a wider range of needs from all citizens.

Among all these changes, the city had decided to affix a rainbow flag marker and message that LGBT people were welcome to use their Kamutoteki Toilets or “multipurpose restrooms.” These are single-person restrooms designed to accommodate men, women, people with babies, people in wheelchairs… pretty much anyone who would need to use a toilet or change a diaper.

Wikipedia

By the beginning of this year, these rainbow signs could be seen on about 240 restrooms in public spaces around Osaka. However on 20 April, Osaka announced that the signs would no longer be used after they had received complaints from LGBT groups.

At first I thought I could see why: although their hearts seemed to be in the right place, there was something weird and tone-deaf about declaring a toilet available to a group of people it had already been available to. It would be like McDonald’s starting a campaign with the slogan: “LGBT can eat our Big Macs!”

But it turned out I was wrong. According to city officials, LGBT groups complained that by placing the rainbow marks on certain toilets, members of those communities would feel as if they were being identified as such by their choice of restrooms.

News source: soranews24.com
Mar 18
Japan's education ministry says it wants to find out how many foreign national children are living in the country but not enrolled in schools. (NHK)
Mar 14
Two 12-year-old elementary school students apparently jumped to their deaths from an apartment building in Aichi Prefecture on Tuesday, leaving notes suggesting that they were being bullied, according to investigative sources. (Japan Times)
Mar 11
March 11th marks the eighth anniversary of the major earthquake that hit northeastern Japan and the ensuing nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. (NHK)
Mar 11
The Justice Ministry plans to require foreign workers entering the country using the new work visas to submit medical certificates, informed sources said. (Japan Times)
Mar 06
Japan aims to set up a nationally recognized accreditation program for teachers of its native tongue, seeking to improve language education for foreign workers as the country prepares to welcome them in greater numbers. (Nikkei)
Mar 06
The cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday approved a bill to revise the broadcast law to allow public broadcaster NHK to start simultaneous online streaming of its television programs. (Japan Today)
Mar 02
Japan’s state-run kyushoku system combines flavour with fresh ingredients and high nutritional value at low cost (theguardian.com)
Mar 02
Companies started Friday to offer employment seminars for third-year university students due to graduate in spring 2020, marking the opening of the last job-hunting season under the rules set by Japan’s biggest business lobby. (Japan Times)
Mar 02
Hokkaido Prefectural Police have arrested the coach of a girl’s basketball team in Sapporo for allegedly kissing a player at his residence last year, reports Nikkan Sports (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 26
Maybe it's something in the gazpacho or paella, as Spain just surpassed Italy to become the world's healthiest country. (Japan Times)