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Tokyo lawmaker says gay marriage against Japanese values

Junji Koizumi
Junji Koizumi
TOKYO (TR) – A conservative assemblyman from Nerima Ward in Tokyo has joined Japan’s national debate on gay marriage, saying it “is a denial of Japanese values.”

“The reason we marry is to create the next generation by having children,” Junji Koizumi, 64, wrote on his blog, the Tokyo Shimbun (Dec. 1) reports. “And same-sex couples cannot have children.”

Debate on gay marriage in Japan has intensified in recent months after Shibuya Ward in Tokyo decided to allow same-sex civil unions. Koizumi slammed the ward, saying its actions “circumvented the Japanese constitution.”

The constitution states that, “Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis.”

Koizumi, who has been elected to office five times since 1999, also feared for future generations in Japan through these efforts to bring about a better understanding of sexuality. “Intervening in this way is bound to cause chaos in the values of our children,” he wrote.

Controversy also erupted over the issue last month when Masumi Tsurusashi, a 71-year-old assemblyman from Ebina City, Kanagawa Prefecture took to Twitter to express his opposition to the reforms in Shibuya. “Homosexuality is a disorder,” he wrote on the microblogging site, NHK reports.

The Kanagawa politician wrote his claims in response to a poll that found more than 50 percent of Japanese were supportive of rights for the LGBT community. Tsurusashi later retracted his statement and apologized for any offense caused on Twitter.