At the weekend, Japan’s first lady Akie Abe joined the annual Tokyo gay pride parade, showing her support for LGBT Community. The wife of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, joined to procession on float with a drag queen, as some 3,000 participants marched through Shibuya business and shopping district.
Akie Abe, 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, I had the pleasure of spending fun time filled with smiles. Thank you.”
Akie Abe has served as a counterbalance to her husband, known for his hawkish politics and support for nuclear power. Relations with South Korea and China have been frosty during his time in office. However, unlike traditional Japanese first ladies, Akie Abe has projected a cheerful confidence, freely speaking her mind and making remarks that often resonated well with the modern public. She has voiced her opposition to nuclear power and skepticism about a trans-Pacific trade deal, and has passionately embraced Korean pop culture.