One of the basic principles for the Olympic Games is that no country may discriminate against a person’s race, gender, or sexuality. Because of this, the normally conservative business community of Japan is now showing their support for the LGBT community in an effort to become a prime sponsor of the 2020 Olympics.
To be clear, Japan has never had a hard line stance against homosexuality similar to the US or Africa. In fact, the most popular religions of Buddhism and Shinto do not take a stance on sexuality. Being gay or lesbian has been legal since 1880, but with Western customs transmitted in the 19th century, Japan followed suit and became less open minded.
Today marriage equality is taking hold. The public sector is seeing more legal acceptance of the practice as time moves on. In the private sector, many corporations are pushing the needle even faster. For example, the trend setting online shopping mall operator Rakutan recently announced it would honor spousal benefits for same sex couples. This is after the company mandated its 13,000 employees learn English to better compete on a global scale. Panasonic is also joining the spousal benefit trend in an effort to become a leading sponsor of the Olympics.
Japan is on the precipice of LGBT acceptance. Similar to America, it is a steep hill but one that its people, particularly its younger generation are in support of.