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Tokyo ward legislator refuses to apologize for anti-LGBT remarks despite warnings

The Adachi Ward Office (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- A Tokyo ward assemblyman who has been criticized for anti-sexual minorities comments he made during an assembly meeting has indicated that he will neither retract nor apologize for his remarks.

    Masateru Shiraishi, 78, the Adachi Ward Assembly's welfare committee chairman and a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), was given a serious warning by both assembly speaker Akira Shikahama and the assembly LDP on Oct. 6 for saying his ward would "perish" if sexual minorities were protected by law during an assembly meeting in September. But Shiraishi pushed back, saying, "If the involved parties are unhappy then that's fine."

    Speaker Shikahama said that three assembly groups and four assembly members including the Japanese Communist Party assembly member group reportedly sought for him to issue a warning. He made a statement saying, "I gave a warning because the comments went too far, but what comes after is the thinking of the person himself. I haven't sought an apology or retraction of his comments (from Shiraishi)." Tadashi Kaneda, the secretary-general for the LDP in the assembly, said, "He caused offense to the parties concerned."

    In response to a request for comment from the Mainichi Shimbun, Shiraishi gave a number of remarks, including, "So what? The way people receive (my statement) will be different. I, for instance, am offended by all the opinions I hear from the Japanese Communist Party."

    In his original comments, Shiraishi was responding to a general question-answer session on the topic of how to teach children at school about childbirth and child rearing at a Sept. 25 assembly meeting when he said, "If L (lesbian) and G (gay) spread to Adachi Ward completely, we will have no residents, because it means there will be no children."

    (Japanese original by Mei Nammo, City News Department)

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