2017 Tokyo Rainbow Pride Breaks Records

Written by BCCJ
May 11, 2017

Written by BCCJ
May 11, 2017

Over six thousand people paraded through Shibuya and Yoyogi Park on May 6th and 7th 2017 to celebrate the biggest ever LGBT pride event in Tokyo and to express their support for gender equality and diversity.

This year’s theme was ‘Change’, and called for a future in Japan in which all individuals are respected, irrespective of their sexuality, and where diversity is embraced.

This was the 5th consecutive year in attendance by the British Embassy, British Council, and British Chamber of Commerce – this year in collaboration with Nissan –, highlighting the UK’s stance on diversity and inclusion, and celebrating Tokyo’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender event.

Deputy Ambassador, David Ellis, held a speech, expressing the UK government’s support for the LGBT community worldwide and its commitment to battling all forms of discrimination. In addition to sharing the message of the UK’s dedication to an important humans rights issue, it was also a chance to communicate what a welcoming destination the UK is for visitors from the LGBT community.

This year, Tokyo Rainbow Pride was sponsored by a record 190 companies and organisations, including major corporations such as NTT Corp., Sony Corp. and Google Inc., as well as fast-growing media company BuzzFeed and music streamer Spotify.

This year, 23 themed-floats featured in the parade, calling for more openness, acceptance, and for same-sex marriage laws across Japan. Participants dressed in rainbow colours marched alongside the floats, singing, holding signs and waving rainbow flags to increase awareness of LGBT issues. As every year, there was also a powerful performance by the British Embassy Taiko Drumming Team on the main stage.

On the event’s official website, local government representatives left messages of support and celebration. In 2015, Shibuya passed an ordinance to issue legally non-binding certificates declaring same-sex partnerships “equivalent to marriage.”

The document allows gay couples the same rights as married couples in terms of hospital visits and apartment rentals. Other cities, such as Sapporo, Naha in Okinawa Prefecture and Iga in Mie Prefecture have since established similar programs.

The BCCJ is committed to advancing Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in Japan. Since April 2012, the Chamber has been running D&I programme designed to promote greater understanding of, and develop support mechanisms for, the growth of diverse groups in the workplace in Japan, including:

– Women
– People with Disabilities
– LGBTQ community
– Generation Y / “Millennials”

The BCCJ believes diversity to be vital for the future growth and sustainability of the Japanese and global economy. 

BCCJ Diversity and Inclusion HERE