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JAPAN -Jun24,2008

Sopporo's Annual Rainbow March Sapporo for LGBT and their supporters began in 1996 in the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture in Japan. Now in its 12th year, the event holds the record for being the longest, continuously run LGBT parade in Japan.

The purpose of the Rainbow March is to honor the LGBT population, normally repressed in Japanese society, by marching through the heart of downtown Sapporo, asserting their existence, and expressing their feelings and ideas. Though the march started with people living in Hokkaido, participants now come from all parts of Japan and abroad.

The Rainbow March begins on Sep 14 at the 6 Chome Square in Odori Park and proceeds through Odori, Susukino and the downtown area for an hour and a half. Participants dress in any way they like and march alongside decorated cars and trucks.

Every year, the mayor of Sapporo addresses the marchers in a rally following the parade and, since last year, the prefectural governor of Hokkaido has contributed a special message to the official Rainbow March guidebook. The Sapporo Rainbow March is the only LGBT event in Japan to receive such support from local public officials.

Goals of the Rainbow March Sapporo:

1) To express our existence as LGBT to those around us and to appeal for acceptance and respectful coexistence.

2) To spread information and materials that help LGBT members who feel different or isolated to accept themselves and to appeal for an end to discrimination based on prejudice and novelty.

3) To make a widespread appeal to all levels of society to include the existence of LGBT as a prerequisite to the construction of social institutions via the influence of administration, enterprise and education. To advocate for diversity and the change to a multifaceted society where every person’s individuality can be respected.

Everyone is invited to attend. For those wishing to march, the assembly point is Odori Park 6-chome Square, Sapporo.

Time: Reception begins at 11:30; Parade sets out at 13:00 and returns at 14:30.

Course: Odori Park 6-chome Square in front of the TV Tower, Minami 3-jo Dori †’ Eki Mae Dori †’ Odori Park 6-chome Square.

Related Events:

Pre-Party (club event)
Date: September 13th
*The annual parade-eve bash!

Rainbow March Pride Rally
Date: September 14th, immediately following the parade
Location: Odori Park 6-chome Square
*The parade will be immediately followed by a rally and an address from the mayor of Sapporo.

Candy Drop!!! ~Parade Special~ (Women Only)
Date: September 14th
12th Rainbow March After Party!
Date: September 14th
*Bring the 12th Annual Rainbow March Sapporo to a fabulous finish with extravagant special guests!

For more detailed information on the above events (including time, location, ticket price, etc.) please visit our homepage at http://www.rainbowmarch.org

Contact information:

The 12th Annual Rainbow March Sapporo Executive Committee
TEL/FAX 011-533-7251. Email info@rainbowmarch.org

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