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JAPAN - Aug 20, 2005

Kanako Otsuji, a member of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly representing Japan’s 2nd largest urban area, revealed herself to be a lesbian in advance of the Tokyo Gay Pride Festival last weekend.

“Homosexual people have often kept silent for fear of discrimination and prejudice. By declaring I’m homosexual, I would like to highlight the problems and put an end to a vicious circle of discrimination and prejudice,” Otsuji stated.

Otsuji, 30, has also written an autobiography that states she is gay. “I believe that coming out as a homosexual is the best thing I can do to encourage numerous people,” Otsuji says in the forthcoming book which will be published by Kodansha Ltd.

"I don't want homosexual children troubled by experiencing the same hardships," she added.



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