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UN spokesman defends LGBT rights after Japanese official's gaffe

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, left, listening to reporters, and his executive secretary Masayoshi Arai are seen at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on Feb. 3, 2023. (Mainichi/Kan Takeuchi)

NEW YORK (Kyodo) -- A U.N. spokesman defended the rights of sexual minorities Monday in a comment following discriminatory remarks by a former close aide to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

    "We've been very clear about the increase (in) hate and violence that members of the LGBTQ+ community face every day," Stephane Dujarric, spokesman to the U.N. secretary general, told reporters after being asked to comment on the remarks.

    "The secretary general stands strongly against hate and that no one should be discriminated for who they love and who they want to be with," Dujarric said.

    Masayoshi Arai, as executive secretary to the prime minister, said last week that he would "not want to live next door" to an LGBT couple and that he does "not even want to look at them."

    Arai immediately retracted the words and apologized, but Kishida sacked him.

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