Skip to main content

Country Overview

Japan

At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?

No

Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?

No

Legal Gender Recognition Possible?

No

LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?

No

Actions Related to SOGI at the UN:

2016:

2019:

View more for this country:

In Japan’s history, social norms, legal regulations and major religions do not have severe hostility towards homosexuality, however, LGBTIQ persons can experience physical, and psychological violence or discrimination in their original family, workplace, schools, or daily life. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected by national laws, which means that LGBT Japanese have few legal recourses when faced with discrimination in such areas as employment, education, housing, health care and banking. Legal protections for same-sex couples or gender-based violence for LGBTIQ persons are available in some city levels, but not in the national levels, even the high level of support does exist among Japanese public. In terms of social acceptance, Rainbow Pride Parade in major cities has been held annually since 2012, and companies and corporations show their great support gradually and participants also increase every year. In 2021, a district court in Sapporo ruled that laws that deprive same-sex couples of the right to marry constitute unlawful discrimination and violate the Constitution, nevertheless, Osaka district court made a different decision in 2022. Japan is the only country in the G7 that does not legally recognize same-sex unions in any form.

Global Impact

Sub-Saharan Africa

Outright supports LGBTIQ organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa and works with mainstream human rights organizations to respect human rights and influence positive changes in laws, policies, attitudes, and beliefs that cause discrimination against LGBTIQ people on the continent.

View this region

United Nations

Our work at the United Nations centers around advocating for the advancement of the rights of LGBTIQ people.

View this region

Asia

Our work in Asia promotes acceptance of sexual and gender diversity at all levels of society.

View this region

Middle East and North Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa, we partner with local groups in various countries as part of our international solidarity work. We also work with our local partners on different topics through capacity building, advocacy, research and holistic security.



View this region

Europe and Central Asia

Outright International partners with activists to fight for an end to human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in Europe and Central Asia, where most of our work involves emergency responses to harassment, discrimination, violence and most recently, Russia’s brutal and expanded invasion of Ukraine.

View this region

Americas

Our work in the Americas continues to build on the fundamental and positive transformation of human rights protections in recent years. We partner with groups in the Caribbean that focus on ending gender-based violence and eradicating discrimination against trans people.

View this region

Pacific

Our work in the Pacific aims to increase visibility of activists, respond to human rights emergencies, and actively bridge local, regional and international activism to achieve equality and justice.

View this region

Human Rights Research

Since 1990, we have partnered with activists from all over the world to produce hundreds of groundbreaking reports.

Read Our Reports