65% in Japan think gov't 'not protecting' gender minorities: Mainichi survey
TOKYO -- Two-thirds of people in Japan believe the government is "not protecting" the rights of sexual minorities such as those who are LGBTQ, a Mainichi Shimbun poll has found.
The survey follows the dismissal of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's former secretary, Masayoshi Arai, after the latter's discriminatory remarks toward LGBTQ+ people and same-sex marriage. When asked if they believe Japan's government is protecting the rights of sexual minorities, only 15% responded affirmatively, while 65% believe the government is not protecting them.
The poll found that 54% support legal recognition of same-sex marriage, while 26% oppose it. Twenty percent responded, "I don't know." Younger people have a higher rate of support. Around 80% of those aged 18-29 and 70% of those in their 30s and 40s are in favor. Support for same-sex marriage hovers near 60% among those in their 50s, just under 50% among those in their 60s, and just under 40% of people in their 70s or older.
Although they cannot be directly compared due to different polling methods, a March 2015 survey found support for same-sex marriage in Japan at 44%, and opposition at 39%.
Regarding measures to tackle the country's declining birth rate, 39% of respondents feel that income limits to receive child care benefits should be removed, while 49% think there is no need to lift the limits. Fewer than one-quarter, or 23%, support tax increases to fund the measures, while 63% oppose a hike. Kishida has pledged to double the country's child care budget as part of extraordinary measures to kickstart the birth rate, but has not indicated how these will be funded.
Support for the Kishida Cabinet was basically unchanged, at 26% versus 27% in the Mainichi Shimbun's Jan. 21 and 22 poll, while disapproval dipped slightly from 66% to 64%.
The phone-based nationwide survey was conducted on Feb. 18 and 19. Valid responses were received via text from 514 mobile phones and through automated calls to 512 landlines.
(Japanese original by Nanae Ito, Political News Department)
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