By TAKASHI NARAZAKI/ Staff Writer
June 9, 2023 at 18:30 JST
The Lower House Cabinet Committee on June 9 approved a bill to “promote understanding” of sexual minorities after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party accepted the English wording “gender identity” in the legislation.
The move clears the way for the bill to be passed into law during the current ordinary Diet session.
The Lower House plenary session is expected to vote on the bill on June 13. Upon approval, it will be sent to the Upper House.
Three different proposals were submitted regarding the bill, including one from the ruling coalition and one from the opposition Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party) and the Democratic Party for the People.
The third proposal had been agreed to by a multipartisan group two years ago, but it was never voted on in the Diet because of LDP opposition.
On June 8, LDP lawmakers approached their counterparts in Nippon Ishin and agreed to use “gender identity,” as had been proposed by the opposition parties.
The ruling coalition’s proposal used “sei doitsu-sei,” which literally means sexual identity.
Some LDP lawmakers had objected to the wording “sei jinin,” which literally means sexual self-recognition, saying it would open the door to arguments for rights based on self-recognition of sex. And that, the opponents said, could allow some people to conveniently use their sex interchangeably to enter restrooms and bathrooms to commit crimes.
Sei jinin was used in the proposal agreed upon by the multipartisan group two years ago.
At the June 9 Cabinet Committee session, lawmakers from the LDP, Komeito, Nippon Ishin and the DPP voted for the compromise proposal that used gender identity.
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