Akie Abe | Gay Pride | Japan | News | Tokyo

Japan's First Lady Akie Abe Joins Tokyo Gay Pride Parade: VIDEO


Japan's first lady Akie Abe participated in Tokyo's Gay Pride parade on Sunday to show her support for LGBT people, AFP reports:

The 51-year-old wife of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe donned a white suit to stand on a float with a drag queen, as some 3,000 participants marched through the trendy Shibuya business and shopping district.

Akie, known for her liberal inclinations, wrote on her Facebook page later that she has been involved in the issue since joining a commission set up by UNAIDS and the Lancet medical journal last year.

“I want to help build a society where anyone can conduct happy, enriched lives without facing discrimination,” she wrote.

Watch Akie on her float, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. She's fabulous!

    Posted by: me | Apr 28, 2014 10:40:01 AM

  2. Wonderful. I love to see foreign nations LGBT citizens get the support they need.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Apr 28, 2014 10:46:18 AM

  3. Japan does not have a "First Lady". The Empress is the First Lady. Kind of insulting to her to refer to the Prime Minister's wife this way, however laudable her actions may be.

    Posted by: Richard | Apr 28, 2014 10:47:14 AM

  4. Would you believe that Tokyo, on the small island of Japan, is the largest city in the world! Good for the First Lady for joining the Pride Parade, because it gave a lot of people the fabulous opportunity to see her in the great Pride Parade. Love those universal Rainbow Flags!

    Posted by: David From Canada | Apr 28, 2014 10:59:06 AM

  5. I live in Tokyo...this is pretty mind-blowing. I had no idea she was there (nor, I think, did many other people). Her husband, to my knowledge, hasn't done anything to support LGBT rights. Gay marriage isn't even on the drawing board.

    Posted by: John | Apr 28, 2014 11:04:10 AM

  6. Hey, it's a good start. I'm sure the drawing board for marriage equality is out there somewhere.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Apr 28, 2014 11:14:36 AM

  7. which one is the drag queen? Luckiest there is toddler at the end with a loving mom, a better future to look forward to. Banzai.

    Posted by: Cd in DC | Apr 28, 2014 11:37:41 AM

  8. I think this is a big step in Japan. Wonderful.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Apr 28, 2014 11:48:04 AM

  9. Why is the Red Skeleton Hobo next to her?

    Posted by: steve talbert | Apr 28, 2014 12:16:34 PM

  10. Um...I don't expect high-class journalism from Towleroad but she is NOT the First Lady of Japan. That honor is reserved for empress consort Michiko Shoda. That would be like saying Samantha Cameron is the First Lady of the UK.

    Posted by: Sam | Apr 28, 2014 12:21:01 PM

  11. Wow this is extremely cool!

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Apr 28, 2014 12:35:09 PM

  12. In defense of Towleroad, all the articles talking about this, including those like Japan Times and Japan Today, all refer to her as the First Lady. She is always referred to as that in most articles written about her.

    On another note, she is amazing and good on her.

    Posted by: Devonasa | Apr 28, 2014 1:01:25 PM

  13. That particular float was sponsored by Place Tokyo which is a group for people who are HIV positive and people who are concerned about the topic. The float was at the head of a group called "Living Together" for people both HIV positive and not, because we are all living together. The man in red on the float is "Pink Bear" Hasegawa who is both HIV positive and has long been an important activist in Japan and internationally. He is not in good health and it must have been a great strain to be happy and lively during the time of the parade, but for this to be the float that Akie Abe was on is very significant.

    Posted by: Mark | Apr 28, 2014 9:42:47 PM

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