Japan’s first openly gay politician, Taiga Ishikawa, 40, traveled to Korea in early June to support the Korea Queer Culture Festival.
The festival has had a shaky start with low turn out due to Mers worries. Also, the pride street parade was originally banned by Seoul police until the ban was overturned by South Korea's court last week.
Ishikawa was elected a member of the Toshima Assembly, a special ward in Tokyo, in 2011 as the first openly gay candidate. Korea and Japan share similar conservative attitudes to sexuality and gender.
“I was shocked to hear that the parade was blocked by the state forces. It saddened me,” said Ishikawa in an interview with The Korea Herald earlier this month.“Then it hit me; there isn’t an openly LGBT lawmaker in Korea yet.”
He said the LGBT parade is important because it is a way of telling these people that they are not alone or isolate.