Japan's ruling coalition submits revised LGBT bill to Diet

Japanese ruling coalition parties have submitted a bill to the Diet that aims to promote understanding of the LGBTQ community, after making a controversial revision to it.

Some opposition parties oppose the change to the bill, saying that it toned down the original version that a nonpartisan group of lawmakers drew up in 2021.

The Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito presented the revised bill to the Lower House on Thursday.

The LDP proposed rephrasing part of the bill because of persistent opposition from some of its lawmakers.

The original version, translated literally, said "discrimination based on self-perceived gender identity is unforgivable." It was changed to "there should be no unfair discrimination based on gender identity." Komeito accepted the rewording.

The LDP sought the understanding of opposition parties by saying that the rephrasing did not change the legal interpretation of the proposed legislation.

But no other parties joined the ruling coalition in presenting the revised bill.

After introducing the bill, the executive acting chairperson of the LDP's policy research council, Shindo Yoshitaka, said the coalition will seek the enactment of the legislation during the current Diet session. He said the ruling parties will make clear through Diet deliberations of the bill what needs to be done so people can live peacefully together.

The largest opposition Constitutional Democratic Party, the Japanese Communist Party and some other opposition lawmakers are against the revision. They say it could narrow the scope of cases subject to the legislation. The Constitutional Democrats and the Communists submitted the original bill to the Diet.

The nonpartisan group that had compiled original bill includes some LDP and Komeito legislators. The question now is how the Diet will deliberate on the two bills and whether each party will support or oppose them.