It found more people identifying as bisexual than as gay.
A new poll from the Japan LGBT Research Institution Inc. has found that one in ten people in the country identify as LGBTQ. The poll was conducted earlier this year, from April to May, and asked 428,000 people aged between 20 and 69.
Out of the 428,000 people asked, 348,000 responses were deemed to be valid.
The poll asked if people were part of a sexual minority, defined as someone who wasn’t a heterosexual cis-gendered person. Out of those asked, one in ten said that they were.
Breaking the results down further, it found that 2.8% of people identified as bisexual, with 1.4% saying that they were questioning their sexuality. The amount of people identifying as either gay or asexual was the same on 0.9%.
When it came to gender identity, 2.5% of respondents said they identified as gender non-binary, 1.8% said they identified as transgender, while a further 1.2% said that they were questioning their gender identity.
Following the poll, the Japan LGBT Research Institute said that “our society needs to face [the reality] in a sincere manner.”
However, another poll from the same think tank highlighted some more worrying statistics. Conducted over the time period, although with only 2,578 people, it found that 83.9% of Japanese people didn’t know anyone who identified as LGBTQ. They put this down to findings of around 78% of Japanese LGBTQ people saying they were still in the closet.
The think tank also noted that although more people were becoming familiar with the LGBT acronym, some still did not fully understand what it meant. It found that 91% knew about it, with only 57.1% correctly understanding its meaning, although these figures are a rise from 2016 when those statistics were 54.4% and 32.7% respectively.
Recently, more and more areas in Japan have been recognising same-sex relationships, with the amount more than tripling in this year alone. Going into the year, only nine areas recongised same-sex relationships, but that number has now risen to 30.
Local governments in the country are implementing ‘partnership systems’ which give same-sex couples the rights to move into public housing as a couple, gain hospital visitation rights and even get certain rights from their employers. The system also allows a partner to make necessary medical decision for their other half.
The system is being introduced as a guideline, rather than an ordinance, in order to be implemented quicker, as under Japanese law ordinances need to be voted on.
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Author: Matt Moore