Japanese pop star Shijiro Atae says he is homosexual and is warmly obtained by followers : NPR


Japanese pop star Shijiro Atae, rear middle, poses with others throughout an announcement for a year-end TV music present in Tokyo on Nov. 24, 2010. Atae mentioned he’s homosexual in an emotional announcement at a fan occasion Wednesday, July 26, 2023, that was warmly welcomed in a rustic the place the federal government doesn’t acknowledge LGBTQ equality. (Kyodo Information through AP)

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Japanese pop star Shijiro Atae, rear middle, poses with others throughout an announcement for a year-end TV music present in Tokyo on Nov. 24, 2010. Atae mentioned he’s homosexual in an emotional announcement at a fan occasion Wednesday, July 26, 2023, that was warmly welcomed in a rustic the place the federal government doesn’t acknowledge LGBTQ equality. (Kyodo Information through AP)

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MANILA, Philippines — Japanese pop idol Shinjiro Atae has come out as homosexual in a public announcement that’s uncommon in conservative Japan, the place same-sex unions usually are not authorized.

Talking Wednesday night to a crowd of about 2,000 of his followers in an auditorium in central Tokyo, Atae revealed he’s homosexual.

“I respect you and consider you deserve to listen to this straight from me,” mentioned the 34-year-old Atae. “For years, I struggled to simply accept part of myself. However now, in spite of everything I’ve been by way of, I lastly have the braveness to speak in confidence to you about one thing. I’m a homosexual man.”

“I do not need individuals to battle like me,” he continued.

No entertainer of a stature and recognition have out as queer in Japan and after his announcement, followers applauded, studies LGBTQ Nation.

“I’m 200% supportive,” Atae’s mom instructed the press after her son’s very public disclosure, the outlet studies.

Atae is a singer-songwriter, mannequin and actor who debuted practically 20 years in the past with the J-pop co-ed group AAA earlier than launching a profitable solo profession.

Response on social media has been predominantly constructive, with many netizens calling Atae courageous and wishing him properly.

“Shinjiro Atae of AAA has come out as homosexual that is large!!! I’m so pleased for him,” tweeted person mineru.

Even many who usually are not acquainted with Atae threw their help behind him.

“I do not observe the group however I applaud and am rooting so laborious for Shinjiro Atae! Your braveness is gorgeous!” wrote person Ces.

The LGBTQ neighborhood in Japan faces many challenges. It’s the solely member of the Group of seven main industrial nations that doesn’t enable same-sex marriage or civil unions — that is regardless of a latest ballot by Kyodo Information that confirmed 64% of respondents assume same-sex marriage must be acknowledged within the nation.

In the meantime, Japan not too long ago handed its first-ever laws on sexual orientation and gender id. However advocates say it nonetheless falls brief.

“This new regulation, whereas advancing the rights of LGBT individuals, falls properly wanting making certain them equal safety from discrimination,” Human Rights Watch wrote in an announcement earlier this month. “Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ought to go additional. A complete nondiscrimination act is what is required if Japan is to guard the human rights of all.”



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