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Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade aims to raise diversity awareness

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Some 2,500 people marched in a gay pride parade in Tokyo on Sunday, vowing to transform a low-profile campaign for the rights of sexual minorities into a major movement in Japan.

The crowd, mainly from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, as well as their supporters and sex workers, paraded through the capital’s entertainment and shopping district of Shibuya.

Waving rainbow-coloured flags and banners, foreign and Japanese campaigners marched in colourful carnival and samurai warrior outfits.

It was the first parade organised by Tokyo Rainbow Pride, a private organisation formed last year which aims to support the rights of sexual minorities.

“Compared with that of New York or London, Japan’s awareness of sexual minorities is quite low,” said Sayaka Kato, a spokeswoman for the organisation.

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“I’m afraid Japan has yet to have a culture of accepting diversity.”

The group hopes to stage a gay pride parade with 50,000 participants within the next five years by expanding its networks among not only Japanese but foreign residents.

Wataru Ishizaka, 35, who as an openly gay politician in Japan is a rarity, noted that a number of sexual minorities in the country still hesitate to take part in events in support of LGBT rights for fear of discrimination.

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“Japanese sexual minorities are still concerned about their exposure to the public,” said Ishizaka, a local Tokyo politician, after participating in the parade.

Photo via AFP


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WATCH: Civil rights icon John Lewis drops the hammer on Trump — and has no qualms about calling his remarks racist

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On Tuesday, the fallout continued from remarks President Trump made telling four freshman congresswomen -- and women of color -- that they should go back to their own countries.

While some prominent Republicans criticized the president, they stopped short of calling his comments racist.

MSNBC reported Tuesday that Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) -- a civil rights icon -- deemed Trump's remarks racist.

"This is not any, any way for the president of the United States of America to be attacking to be saying what he's saying about these young women," Lewis said.

"It's just dead wrong. We must use everything in a nonviolent way to say that it's wrong."

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Trump believes white nationalism is a winning strategy — because Fox News tells him so

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Donald Trump thinks white nationalism is going to win him the 2020 election. This much is clear. Trump's racist Twitter rant on Sunday — in which he suggested that four nonwhite congresswomen, three of whom were born in the United States, are "originally" from somewhere else and should therefore "go back" — might have seemed at first like a spontaneous eruption of racist rage from the simmering bigot in the White House.

Soon, however, it became clear that this was strategic. Trump thinks it's a winning move to echo the claims of David Duke and other white nationalists who believe the United States is for white people. He justified his racism by saying that "many people agree with me," and by continuing to rave on Twitter about how the real purveyors of "racist hatred" are those who look askance at his embracing the rhetoric of Stormfront and the KKK.

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‘White supremacy is a hell of a drug’: columnist explains the GOP’s garbled response to Trump

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On Tuesday, President Donald Trump addressed comments he'd made telling four freshman congresswomen -- all American citizens and women of color -- to go back to their countries.

The comments set off a furor that the president was being outwardly racist.

“It's up to them. They can do what they want. They can leave, they can stay, but they should love our country,” the president told reporters Tuesday when he was asked about his remarks.

On CNN Tuesday, New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali explained how Donald Trump's comments -- and his Republican counterparts' refusal to call them racist -- is rooted in a dangerous white supremacy, or terror at the "browning of America."

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