Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida fired one of his aides on Saturday for making anti-LGBTQ comments, calling the remarks “outrageous and completely incompatible with the administration’s policies.”
Masayoshi Arai, an economic official who joined Kishida’s administration last fall, said people would leave the country if same sex-marriage was allowed, adding that he wouldn’t want to live next to a gay or lesbian couple or even look at them, local new outlets reported.
He later apologized over what he said were “misleading” remarks.
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The firing comes as Japan prepares to welcome the U.S. and other allies for the Group of 7 meeting in May.
Japan is the only G-7 country that doesn’t legally recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions.
Another one of Kishida’s aides resigned late last year after making anti-LGBTQ remarks.
Kishida’s approval ratings are also underwater after a series of resignations as national support for same-sex marriage is growing, opinion polls have showed.
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Last November, a Tokyo court upheld a ban on same-sex marriage but also said having no legal protection for gay or lesbian couples was a violation of human rights.
Reuters contributed to this report.