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Protesters gather in Shibuya to decry LDP lawmaker's LGBT 'productivity' claim

People take to the streets protesting the remarks made by LDP legislator Mio Sugita about sexual minorities, in front of JR Shibuya Station in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, on Aug. 5, 2018. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Protesters gathered in front of Shibuya Station here on Aug. 5 for a demonstration decrying ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker Mio Sugita's claims about the "productivity" of sexual minorities.

Sugita, a member of the House of Representatives, faced a barrage of criticism after writing in an article contributed to a monthly magazine that sexual minorities, including members of the LGBT community, "do not bear children, and therefore are not 'productive.'" Several hundreds of participants gathered in response to calls on social media platforms such as Twitter.

At the gathering, Fuyuki Kanai, a 29-year-old illustrator who identifies as gay, said, "Even when I experienced discrimination, I continued to keep silent, but if we don't speak out now, this will only continue. We must create a society where the next generation does not have to experience the same pain as we did."

"There is discrimination in Japan," Natose Suzuki, a 22-year-old lesbian, called out to passersby while holding a rainbow flag -- a representation of sexual diversity. "Lend us a helping hand to change society. Let's change society together."

(Japanese original by Miyuki Fujisawa, Medical Welfare News Department)

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