The Rainbow Diet to Embrace Sexual Diversity in the Tokyo 2020

The 2nd Rainbow Diet (Raibow Kokkai in Japanese) was held at First Member’s Office Building of the House Representatives on March 13th, Tuesday. It was filled with as many as twenty two Diet members and they discussed the discrimination against LGBT professional sports players.

The Rainbow Diet started with discussion among five guest speakers, Kanae Doi, the representative of Human Rights Watch Japan, Hiroshi Hase, the chairperson of LGBT all- party parliament group, Kyoko Raita, a professor of Chukyo University, Yuki Arata, a member of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Preparation committee, and Fumino Sugiyama, a FtM transgender man who used to be a professional fencer. All of the five speakers came up to the stage.

“We divide men and women in tournaments and that has led to the current tendency that male players try to show their manliness and avoid looking androgynous. People expect male players to be stronger than female players. That creates the atmosphere that tolerates sexual harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity in sports industry,” said Ms. Raita bringing up the results of “Surveys on coaching LGBT people”. There are some cases where sex verification was approved under certain conditions in Olympics. There has also been measures to prevent sexual harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity In Olympics.

Ms. Arata announced that the committee of Tokyo 2020 is to make guidelines to prohibit sexual harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity in June of 2018. The guidelines will make the companies and suppliers involved disclose and keep a record of their anti-harassment measures. The committee of Tokyo 2020 is to make sure all of them strictly follow the guidelines and consultation centers will be established. The committee of Tokyo 2020 will make every effort to make Tokyo 2020 “Most Inclusive Game Ever.”

Mr. Sugiyama talked about discrimination he experienced when he was a professional fencer. Nanae Takizawa, a former professional volleyball player who came out as lesbian, was not present that day, so Mr. Sugiyama read her message on behalf of her.

After the discussion, each of the Diet members made some comments.

After that, Gon Matsunaka talked about the anti-harassment policies in the PyeongChang Olympics. KOC had announced that it would prohibit sexual harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity, however, it was not well informed. Instead of KOC, Pride House committee members had to do so many things such as making guidelines and banners for mass media and the spectators. KOC did not make any budget for anti-harassment measures, so Pride House needed help from COC. It was nice to know the real stories in Japan.

Overall, I felt a lot of enthusiasm for making laws to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The discussion heated up. Some of the Diet members mentioned the news released by the government that those who take hormone therapy will be excluded from health insurance (because it is regarded as mixed billing)