The following text is an ACTION ALERT letter from Ken Takeuchi, a member of NY base organization GAPIMNY.
I want you all to pass it on.
Hello friends and family,
I've translated the open letter from Otsuji Kanako, the first openly lesbian politician ever in Japan. My apologies for a hasty translation, but the urgency and importance of taking immediate action is very much apparent I hope.
We cannot let this ordinance pass. No matter how advanced country like Japan has become, its records in LGBT rights have been non-existent. Being an ex-pat Japanese activist in NY, I cannot sit idly while this ordinance may set precedence in Japanese legal history. IF it comes to pass, it will bring dire consequences in the future LGBT rights in Japan.
PLEASE RE-POST, AND RESEND TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND COMMUNITY GROUPS YOU ARE PART OF NOW!!!
I feel that email petitions in Japanese would be most effective, but send them in English anyway if there's not enough time or resources to translate. We only have a week left, I desperately implore you to join in this petition.
You can visit following websites to learn more;
Otsuji Kanako's website;
The proposed changes in the ordinance by Miyakonojo City
English (There don't have the translated page, but you can get a sense of the city here)
My appreciation goes beyond description for your help in this matter. Please feel free to send me questions, and I will do as much as I can to follow up.
Best regards and with utmost respect,
Steering Committee member at large, Gay Asian & Pacific Islander Men of NY (GAPIMNY)
Member, Japanese Speaking LesBiGays in NY (JSLNY)
By Otsuji Kanako
Assembly Member of Osaka Prefecture, Japan
Party: Independent (first elected in 2003)
Member of "Rainbow and Greens (Japan)"
Book: Coming Out (2005, Kodansya, Japanese only)
The first openly homosexual politician in Japan
I am sending a letter of protest and petition to city counsel members of Miyakonojo City in Miyazaki Prefecture. Please join my petition by sending emails in protest.
Petition emails should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline is September 12th (11th in the U.S.) - Please take action now, since the committee meeting begins on the 15th.
In addition, individuals should send a message to the city assembly. It is important to send in numbers.
For the mayor of Miyakonojo City, Nagamine Makoto
Tel: +81 986-23-2111, Fax +81 986-25-7973
For office of Miyakonojo city assembly
TEL +81 986-23-7869, Fax +81 986-25-7879
===========An open letter of protest and petition===========
For the members of Miyakonojo City assembly,
An open letter of protest and petition against the deletion of "gender and sexual orientation" from the proposed ordinance, "Miyakonojo City Equal Rights Measure in Creating Better Society"
I sincerely respect your diligence in all of your endeavors. Currently the city assembly's new ordinance, "Miyakonojo City Equal Rights Measure in Creating Better Society" is being presented. In this new proposal, the wording of (applying to) "all people including gender and sexual orientation" which was originally present prior to consolidation of Miyakonojo City, was deleted. And instead, revised to be simply, "all people". What was the reason for deleting "gender and sexual orientation" from the original proposal? While many people are being discriminated based on "gender and sexual orientation" in current Japanese society, such act of deletion ignores the reality of discrimination, and may be taken as an approval of such activities. I simply cannot sit by and watch it pass.
In addition, I have been informed that the names of council members who created the ordinance have not been released. Furthermore no hearing was held by the city's community groups or party involved. Without the lack of opinions from them, the ordinance does not reflect the needs of Miyakonojo community.
The policy introduced in January 2005, "Miyazaki Prefecture Human Rights Education-Policies for Basic Development" clearly states the following fact. In chapter 4, section 2 titled, "Promoting the Policies of Various Fields" includes the topic, "Problems faced by minorities of gender and sexual orientation". It recognizes the existence of prejudice and discrimination, and the importance of accepting sexual and gender diversity. The policy encourages the city residents to take initiatives to put more effort in this matter. The current ordinance on the table completely contradicts Miyazaki prefecture's policy.
Please reconsider this proposal one last time. I implore you to reinstate the wording, "gender and sexual orientation".
Petition organizer, Osaka Prefecture Assembly Member