Japan is the only country in the G7 (the group of the world's leading democratic economies) that does not recognize same-sex marriage, although support for same-sex marriage is growing in Japan. About 64% of the Japanese are in favour of introducing marriage equality.
The prime minister made the statements in parliament after questions from an opposition party about same-sex marriage. His response was that he believes the ban "does not discriminate" and "is not unconstitutional," the AP news agency reported.
The statements have drawn criticism from LGBT+ organisations following a scandal involving an adviser to the Prime Minister a month ago. That adviser said he did not want to live next to LGBT+ people and did not want it in his sight at all. According to the adviser, many Japanese would emigrate if same-sex marriage were introduced. The prime minister dismissed the adviser and apologised. “Unacceptable,” Kishida called the statements.
Now that the prime minister has spoken more negatively about same-sex marriage, some parties accuse him of hypocrisy and wonder whether the prime minister is trying to reassure his conservative supporters. According to the BBC, the other G7 countries are also pressuring Japan to recognize same-sex marriage ahead of a joint summit in May in Hiroshima.