(The first screen says:) “This program is brought to you by Japanese Culture Channel Sakura (日本文化チャンネル桜), Members of the “Twenty-hundred committees/Fellowship/Sakura-supporters” (「二千人委員会・友の会・桜サポーター」会員), Sponsors (「協賛広告」広告主), and the viewers of “Internet Broadcast SO-TV” (「インターネット放送 SO-TV」視聴者)”
(With the sun at back:) “From the Country Where the Sun Rises” (日いづる国より)*
*the name of this program.
（右下に、青文字で：） プロデュース・聞き手 作曲家 すぎやまこういち
(At the bottom right, in blue print:) Producer, listener Composer Sugiyama Kouichi（すぎやま こういち）*
*btw, he is the one who made the famous Dragon Quest theme.
（左に、緑文字で：） 聞き手 参議院議員 中山 恭子
(At the left, in green print:)
Member of the House of Councilors (The upper house)
Nakayama Kyouko (NK): Good evening, everyone. It is time for From the Country Where the Sun Rises. In this program, we invite a politician who thinks about our country and have them share their thoughts with us.
Last week, we talked about the issues regarding comfort women.
And indeed we are in a tough situation.
Other countries – not only Japan or South Korea – are also starting to believe what South Korea is saying. While we make this a topic in South Korea, Japan also has to explain this issue to the foreign countries, based on facts.
One thing I view as problematic is the so-called “LGBT Support Act”. To explain briefly, L is for レズ (/lez/), G is for gay, B is for bisexual and T is for transsexual*, or those who have a gender-identity-disorder, and this bill aims to support such people.
This was actually passed in Shibuya ward, March this year (*2015).
Shibuya ward, you know, the title is already really weird, but it is “Regulations to promote a society where gender equality and diversity are respected”. No terms like LGBT or homosexuality actually come out at all in the title, but it’s like this.
However, if we look at the content, well, it says that homosexual people have a lot of issues that make their lives difficult. For example, realtors don’t lend rooms to homosexual couples sometimes and so they are being discriminated. Because gay marriage is not allowed by the national constitution, local governments can’t meddle with this, but by taking the form of a regulation, they can give homosexual couples a certification that they are in a relationship similar to marriage and they are trying to make it so that the local governments can do so.
Regrettably, this bill was passed in Shibuya ward.
Then, Takarazuka city, which is where I live, also wanted to do this. The mayor apparently liked to gather city officials and representatives and invite a homosexual person to come and talk so that they can understand the feelings of homosexual people. (laugh)
So, there was an atmosphere that this should be done in Takarazuka too, but of course, I thought such a regulation was unnecessary and gave three reasons on my blog, but I received mixed opinions (laugh) on this and it flamed up. But firstly, perhaps you have noticed by looking at the title, but, uh, “Regulations to promote a society where gender equality and diversity are respected” is viewing “gender equality” and “respecting diversity” on the same plane.
Gender equality is a totally different issue, but they are treating them like they’re equal.
In regard of supporting men and women, some local governments are, for example, assisting child-raising and some are even helping out marriage; because Japan is critically aging, I think we are in a situation where we need them to bore more children. We are using our tax to support such efforts.
Then, although this might be the reason I am criticized, but I will be blunt: firstly, what kind of cause do we have where you and everyone’s tax money is used to support those homosexual people who are not productive?
And, it’s not discrimination, it’s differentiation (although my blog flamed up when I said this in the context of gender equality too). It’s not good to mix these two up, and that is my first point.
そして2点目は、日本という国はあの……基本的人権というのが全員に尊重されていますから、大人も子供も、それからお年寄りも、障害者の方も、病気を持った方も、みんなすべて基本的人権というのが尊重されています。 The second point is that, in Japan, uh, the basic human rights of everyone are respected; adults, children, the elderly, the handicapped, the ill, everyone’s fundamental rights are respected.
Then, if we voice out things like “women’s rights” or “children’s rights” or even “homosexual people’s rights” on top of those fundamental rights, then we are giving them special support and that becomes a privilege.
NK: Indeed, yes.
So we don’t need such things.
SK: If we say this in a traditional Japanese term, it would be “to build a house on the roof”; it becomes something like building a house on top of a roof.
The third point is that, I myself have been working in the administration for 18 years. There is just so many things local governments have to do. For example, the number of those in need of social welfare is rising a lot but we don’t have enough human resources and so we can’t find cases of fraudulent recipients.
Cases of child abuse is also growing but again, we do not have enough human resources. Issues are diversifying but the number of officials are decreasing due to administrative reforms. Officials are pushing their limits and there are so many other issues that are directly connected to everyone’s lives; is this issue that of a priority?
優先順位から考えてもかなり優先順位は低いんじゃないですかという、この3つのあのことを掲げて、私はこういう支援法は、いりませんって言うようなことあの書かせていただいたんですね。 I think this is a low-priority issue. And so I gave these three reasons to say that I think such support acts are unnecessary.
で、まあ、こうきちっと私は論理的に書いたつもりなんですが差別主義者のレッテルを貼られてしまって、普段私がブログとか書いてもあまり取り上げてくれないんですが、こういう内容書くとですね、なんとか livedoor ニュースとかなんとかニュースとかいうのが取り上げてくださって。 And, I thought I wrote very logically, but I was name-called as discriminatory; my usual blog entries aren’t publicized at all, but when I write stuff like this, news like Livedoor pick them up.
こないだなんかテレビの討論番組から電話がかかってきまして、「このLGBTの知識を学校教育で教えるべきかどうかということに対して、意見をください」という風に言われまして、私は「当然そんなものは必要ありません」と。 Recently, I got a phone call from a TV debate program saying, “Please give me your opinion on teaching things about LGBT at school.” I answered, “Of course we don’t need to do such a thing.”
They said so. But still, to me, it is low-priority. Teachers at school have to take care of monster parents (parents who make unreasonable requests/complaints) and non-functioning classes and they don’t have the time do this, and can we actually get teachers to teach correct things to children? It will be non-sense if they taught children wrong things.
And during adolescence, we experience a lot of things. I was raised in a girls school, so there were girls everywhere. And so, one might have done things like writing a love letter to a cool kind of girl. (laugh)
In a sensitive time like puberty, if we gave education saying “No, it is not wrong for a woman to like a woman, for a man to like a man. Everyone be more unashamed, don’t be so shy, homosexual people can also be prouder about themselves,” what do you think would happen? Even those who can go back to normal can’t anymore. I explained that to that person [the TV program crew], but in the end, that project was gone so I couldn’t have a chance to go out and talk about it.
So uh, this issue is a very hot topic, all around Japan. If this bill passes Shibuya ward and then Takarazuka, it’s not the memorandum regarding comfort women, but it will disseminate all around Japan. And I didn’t write this in my blog on purpose, but what this brings is the collapse of family.
And another definite thing is that children aren’t born from homosexuality. This is also considerable.
And you know, this issue too, but gender equality is just impossible, because you can’t make men produce children. So I’ve been saying “Women and men splitting up the work, it is just impossible to make everything completely equal” for quite a long time. I also received backlash on this, but I actually noticed something while I’ve been working on this issue.
“Women has been abused for ages, for example, in the past, if you were poor girls were sold, became prostitutes, were abused by men; Japan is just a very male-dominated country,” they say. “So we have to take measures like these,” is their starting point.
But as I have been always saying, “There is no country like Japan that has been treating women so nicely.” Men and women have their own roles, and women have been taken care of. I think Japan is a country like that.
SK： South Korea might be a male-dominated society. But Japan is, we have words like “Henpecking wives” and you know, our very origin is Amaterasu-Omikami [the goddess which is said to be the ancestor of the Japanese imperial family and Japanese people].
“Lady first” and what not is said over there, but there is a theory that it came from a custom of letting women go first so that men can protect themselves. But on the contrary, in Japan, when it’s said that women should be three steps behind their husbands [an idiomatic term that refers to an ideal(?) Japanese wife; usually portrayed as the wife supporting her husband], the husband comes to the front when something happens. Yup, things like that.
NK： And also, it is often said that French women are very “coquettish”. And that is because their husbands have a grasp on everything and if they want to buy something, if they want their husband to buy something, they just have to be beautiful and coquettish (laugh)
And, it is the same with this issue about supporting homosexuality; those who make rebuttals against me are like, “Japan is still very under-developed. Knowledge and recognition of homosexual people is still very rudimentary and discrimination on those people are still at large. Overseas, there are even countries where you can get married.” In America, California legalized gay marriage by state law [this program was made in 2015, so America was yet to constitutionalize gay marriage].
But Christianity forbids homosexuality on the contrary, so there is the history of discrimination, genocide, and abuse, so they are making laws; so I guess it’s just that there is a mismatch at the starting point of whether one thinks Japan is a good country or a terrible country. Those who criticize me and I have different starting points.
I guess so.
Sugita-san, about the T, what do you think about this?
Gender identity disorder is an illness, so to what extent we take medical measures is a question for the medical department.
There is an argument on this, up to where insurance can cover this; I have braces right now, but this isn’t covered by insurance while cavities are. It’s the same; whether or not we cover their medical measures is another argument.
Gender identity disorder, the one you said, is it a psychiatric issue that neurologists take care of or is it a hormonal disorder, a physiological issue; I think there are two types. You know, all these things put together…mixing them up is a mistake, and I wonder what kind of intent there is. There might be some kind of weird hidden intention.
It is actually going their way, and this (laugh) I think is an issue to but, when we conduct surveys to citizens about these kinds of regulations, “Why not?”. “It’s sad for the homosexual people to be discriminated.” “Why don’t you just do it?” is the majority.
Those who are saying, “This is an issue, we shouldn’t be doing these kinds of things,” are actually the minority. “Why don’t you recognize these things and give support?”, is what women especially say. There are so many people in Japan that say, “It’s really not an issue to be so controversial with,” and so we are at a disadvantage.
We need to keep on saying why such things are necessary, making a clear line of reasoning. I also think we need to think about T as a different issue. And when I say things like productivity, some make rebuttals like, “Then are you going to discriminate couples who can’t bore children on the basis of productivity?” so I say, “No. We are going to make great efforts in the medical realm for such couples. In the previous local election, there was a proper argument among [unintelligible] about raising the cap that exists so that we can support couples that can’t bore children. And I think that is correct, we have to put effort in this and split it from this issue [about homosexual people]; it is not discrimination of the unproductive people, discrimination and differentiation are different,” this is what I want to say.
SM： I agree. And well, what I fear about these issues is that, when there is a case and the court rules in favor of these kinds of people, the legislature would have to rewrite the law; previously we faced frustration in the issue of the right of inheritance of illegitimate children.
Concerning that, I also said that we should think from the history; the history of how Japan wasn’t discriminating and during the time when the West was still zero, it [the right of inheritance] was made 1/2 in Japan; this wasn’t discrimination but a relief act for illegitimate children. However, the Supreme Court ruled that it was discrimination and it was made so that we had to change the law. We are also facing challenges regarding family from the “different surname” issue too, and I cannot forbid myself from thinking that those with the same intent are at large here too.
(I skipped 24:10-24:55 because I felt it didn’t matter much on the topic)
An even funnier topic is like “Ok, I want to marry my pet,” and this has already come up abroad; so if we allow things like this [LGBT support], I think the same kind of issue will be introduced here in Japan.
But I think going viral is a good thing. Many people can share their opinions and discuss, so everyone can understand how people are feeling, and I can also learn like “So there are people who think like this,” or “So there are such rebuttals,” by looking at it; yes, learning these things every day, yes.
But I just really think this is a matter for female politicians.
Criticizing excessive gender equality and gender-free is something men don’t do. And concerning LGBT issues, as I mentioned, women tend to be more supportive, so I would like to continue making action by saying “No no no, these things are not acceptable from the women’s point of view.”
SK： Aggressively saying things that men can’t say helps us out a lot. In that sense, women’s words are important for Japan and what Sugita Mio-sensei and Nakayama Kyoko-sensei say are things we men can’t say, so it is great help.
NK： But what Sugita-san is saying is very decent.
SK： It’s a just argument.
(-27:23. It continues up to 29:30, but I found it irrelevant so I cut it out)