Lesbian Lawmaker Runs for Japanese National Office

Japan’s first openly gay politician, Kanako Otsuji, runs for national office in order to encourage diversity

Kanako Otsuji, Japan’s first openly gay politician from Osaka, has announced she will run in national elections in July to encourage the government to acknowledge diversity. She will run on the Democratic Party ticket for the upper house of parliament. The election will be held on July 22.

Otsuji, 32, is a former member of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly, where she became the youngest politician to hold a seat there when she won in 2003. One of only seven women in the 110-seat body, she came out halfway through her four-year term with the publication of her autobiography.