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Country Overview


At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?


Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?


Legal Gender Recognition Possible?


LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?


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In Japan’s history, social norms, legal regulations, and major religions have not been strongly against same-sex sexuality. However, many LGBTIQ people experience physical and psychological violence and discrimination in their families, workplace, schools, and daily life. Although some cities ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, this is not true at the national level, so LGBTIQ Japanese people have fewer legal resources when faced with discrimination in such areas as employment, education, housing, banking, and healthcare. To change their legal gender markers, trans people have to undergo sterilization and other invasive surgeries, as well as obtain a diagnosis of “gender identity disorder.” In regard to same-sex couples, Japan is the only country in the G-7 that does not legally recognize same-sex unions in any form. 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. Although this did not legalize same-sex marriage in Japan, it was a step in the right direction. In Tokyo, same-sex couples may now be issued domestic partnership certificates. In terms of social acceptance, Rainbow Pride parades in major cities have been held annually since 2012, and the number of participants increases every year. Studies suggest that a majority of Japanese people think that same-sex sexuality should be accepted and trans people should be allowed to change their legal gender markers without undergoing surgery.


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.

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United Nations

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Human Rights Research

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

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