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Rainbow Olympics push Japan on LGBTQ rights

SHOTLIST:ASSOCIATED PRESSTokyo - 2 August 20211. Various of Makoto Kikuchi, 34-year-old professional boxer who came out recently, practicing 2. Mid of boxing glove with Kikuchi's name written on it3. Various of Kikuchi tying hand wraps 4. SOUNDBITE (Japanese) Makoto Kikuchi, 34-year-old professional boxer: "There are people like me, who speak openly about their own sexuality. I hope more people can rely on us and come to places, where many people like us get together. I want to tell people that you are never alone."5. Various of Kikuchi drying her faceASSOCIATED PRESSTokyo - 1 August 20216. Close of Tokyo 2020 banner on the stadiumSTORYLINE:When Makoto Kikuchi was aiming to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics boxing tournaments two years ago, she felt pressure to hide her sexual orientation, which she was worried might affect the selection process.Ahead of the postponed Tokyo Summer Games, however, the 34-year-old professional boxer decided to come out as lesbian, hoping to bring change to Japanese sports society, where LGBTQ people still suffer from discrimination and prejudice.Kikuchi said she decided to come out after learning more about the current situation of Japanese LGBTQ community when she visited Pride House Tokyo, an international initiative to provide a place for LGBTQ people and others to connect during the games.The 2020 Summer Olympic Games have marked a historic number of publicly out gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and non-binary athletes in Tokyo. According to the website Outsport.com, it is now up to 179, more than three times the number that Outsports tallied at the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. At the London Games, it counted just 23.Japan is the only country in the Group of Seven major industrialized nations where same-sex marriages are not legally recognized. Japanese sexual minority groups and their allies in June submitted requests to get long-sought equality legislation passed before the Tokyo Olympics, to the governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), whose conservative members have stalled the bill.===========================================================Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: info@aparchive.com(ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory.
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