20 Japanese Celebrities Who Have Shown Support for the LGBTQ Community


Songstress MISIA has been a longtime supporter of LGBT rights. In 2014, she took home the culture award in the music category from the “Tokyo Superstar” awards.

Recently, MISIA dedicated an entire episode of her NHK radio show “MISIA Starry Sky of Radio” to LGBT issues. The show featured a various array of people belonging to the LGBT family where they were able to share and discuss their stories and thoughts.

Sayaka Akimoto and Ayaka Umeda, former AKB48 members

Back in 2015, AKB members publicly commented on the US Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide.

  • Sayaka Akimoto:
    • “Today is the day that same-sex marriage was approved in America. There were probably lots of smiling faces, with all the problems they carried with them. Partner. Equal dignity under the law. As of now, I’ve never been in love with another woman before, but I might fall in love with one. Before gender, I hope I’ll love the person first.”
  • Ayaka Umeda:
    • The day that same-sex marriage was approved in America. I wonder how people smiled, waiting for this day. For myself, I have alot of gay and lesbian friends. So this is something that also affects me. Not just as a woman, but I also want to become better as a person. I hope that this world will becoming more loving.

Haruna Iikubo, Morning Musume 

On Hello!Project’s variety show “Girls News Hello!Project“, a segment was created where one of the MCs asked gay Hello!Project fans who their favorite current member of Morning Musume was.  Current subleader Haruna Iikubo came out on top where she proudly accepted the accolade, thanking gay fans for supporting herself and Morning Musume.

Shigeaki Kato, NEWS

NEWS member Shigeaki Kato has publicly supported same-sex marriage and has brought attention to LGBTQ issues, as exemplified in this post by Tumblr user graphicabyss which details the following:

On his radio show “Sorashige Book“, he has a music recommendation portion and once introduced the song “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Shigeaki admiringly talked about the song and the video which focus on same-sex marriage. He also regularly talks about and recommends LGBT-themed movies.

In 2014 for an Ariyoshi Special, Shigeaki visited the Ni-chome district to film a report on how gay and transgender people spent their Christmas holiday. This was Shigeaki’s own idea to do the special , and was very open-minded on the subject, treating everyone he interviewed with respect and dignity.

Lastly, in his last book “Ants without umbrellas”, there’s a short story called“Nibe mo naku, yorube mo naku” which has homosexuality and its acceptance as one of its main topics.


Singer IMALU has said:

When I visit 2-chome, I am always struck by its sensibility and talent. I grew up surrounded by members of the LGBT community, and I cannot help but feel that Japan is not yet a society that knows how to value individuality. This is especially true with school children. There are, no doubt, countless children who have reached puberty, and who are forced to hide their true selves with no escape and no place that welcomes them. As a woman, I am hoping that society will allow lesbians to be more open about their sexuality.

Kyoko and Mika Kano, Kano Sisters

Kyoko Kano of the Kano Sisters commented on their sexuality, as quoted in W magazine in 2002:

Mika is a traditional Japanese girl—in a good way—but I like to play the field. Maybe I’m bisexual. I think it’s wrong to live only for men.

The sisters have regularly attended events and fundraisers in support of LGBT and write entries on their blog addressing the subject.

Were any of your favorites missing from the list? Share them with us in the comment section below!

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