On October 22nd, the House of Representatives election was held and Kanako Otsuji, an openly lesbian politician, was elected as a member of the House of Representatives. She is the first openly lesbian member of the House of Representatives in Japan.
Ms. Otsuji became a prefectural assembly member in Osaka in 2003. In 2005, same-sex couples became able to live together in a housing owned by Osaka because of her effort. In addition to that, she published a book titled “Coming Out – a journey to find my true self- ” and publicly came out as a lesbian the same year. In 2006, she became one of the leaders of Kansai Rainbow Parade and managed to make that happen in Osaka.
In 2007, she ran for the House of Councillors election with support from the Democratic Party, but she couldn’t make it. (However, her running for the election caught a lot of attention and led to better awareness of LGBTQ issues.)
In 2012, she ran for the House of Representatives election with support from the Democratic Party, but she couldn’t make it that year.
In 2013, she was elected as a member of the House of Councillors as a result of the resignation of other members. It was such a short period of time, but she worked hard as a member of the House of Councillors. During that period, she submitted questions regarding discriminatory systems of aptitude tests for teacher recruitment exams.
Finally, she was elected as a member of The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan this year.
During the time when she was not working as a politician, she worked as a social worker and a care worker. She kept working hard to contribute to Osaka, emphasizing the necessity of nursing children and elderly people. This year, her hard work finally paid off.
A lot of people in LGBTQ community celebrated her win in the election. She is an LGBTQ activist who can be trusted and speak out LGBTQ issues in public.