U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said there is no difference between same-sex marriage and heterosexual marriage, and that Japan should properly acknowledge any relationship between two people in love.

There is only “marriage,” Emanuel said in a speech on April 10 at a meeting held by Naigai Josei Chosa Kai (Research Institute of Japan) in Tokyo.

When asked about stances of the government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party toward sexual minorities, Emanuel only said the Japanese Constitution clearly addresses discrimination, and that Japan is a nation that opposes discrimination.

In response to a question from the media, Emanuel said that speaking and taking action for LGBTQ people is a clear policy of U.S. President Joe Biden.

He said defending this policy is part of the path he should take as an ambassador.

Emanuel also mentioned his efforts to implement policies and partnerships for sexual minorities when he served as Chicago mayor.

While same-sex marriage and partnership systems are spreading worldwide, particularly in Western countries, Japan still does not legally recognize same-sex marriage.

Conservative elements in the LDP, often citing traditional family values, have blocked attempts to legalize gay marriage.

A nonpartisan group of lawmakers is considering submitting a bill to the Diet to promote “understanding” of LGBT people. However, opposition within the LDP remains strong, and passage of the bill is not in sight.

Creating an “ideal” world without nuclear weapons and a nuclear umbrella will be discussed at the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima in May.

Emanuel said “a world without nuclear weapons” and the “nuclear umbrella” are mutually complementary--not contradictory--terms.