Tokyo Rainbow Pride Enjoys Biggest Turnout Ever

A record-breaking 70,000 attendees hit the Shibuya district for a colorful celebration of Pride.

Tokyo celebrated its sixth annual Pride festival this weekend, marking its biggest turnout ever The Daily Mailwith some 70,000 people crowding into the city’s Shibuya district.

TOKYO, JAPAN - 2016/05/08: Tokyo Rainbow Pride celebrates LGTB rights Colorfully dressed participants join the Rainbow Pride parade in Shibuya. An estimated 4000 people paraded through the streets of Shibuya  celebrating a recent increase in recognition of LGTB rights in Japan. Population of LGTB in Japan is about 7.6%. The event was organised across two days. From last year Shibuya Ward declared that people in same-sex partnerships should have many of the same rights as married couples. Major companies such as Google, Gap, Nomura also got involved in the celebrations. (Photo by Alessandro Di Ciommo/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Alessandro Di Ciommo/Pacific Press/LightRocket

US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy was among the celebrants, marching in the parade and speaking to a group of mothers about LGBT children.

Support for LGBT rights is growing gradually in Japan: Last fall, Shibuya began recognizing same-sex marriages, and a 2015 poll indicated s 51% of Japanese adults support such recognition.

At the same time, Panasonic became one of the first major corporations in the country to offer benefits to partners of gay and lesbian employees.

This year’s parade saw employees from Google, Gap, JP Morgan and a number of Japanese finance firms holding up signs declaring their companies’ commitment to equality and diversity.

“Since sexuality is something invisible, the issue of LGBT people tends to be regarded as nonexistent unless they make their voices heard,” organizer Fumino Sugiyama told the Japan Times.”The purpose of this event is to make LGBT people visible, but do it in a cheerful, funny way.”

Below, check out highlights from the 2016 Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade on Instagram.

#TokyoRainbowPride2016 #TokyoRainbowPride #TokyoPride #GayPride #PrideParade

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Tokyo rainbow pride – the Israeli booth Photo by @niroren .

A post shared by Gay pride in Israel (@isragay) on

Happy Pride! ハッピープライド♪ #東京レインボー #tokyorainbow #tokyopride

A post shared by Yogini the Vegan Drag Queen (@yoginisouldiva) on

#tokyopride #rainbowpride #gaypride

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Happy day #tokyopride #tokyo #2016spring

A post shared by 李家宜 (@noah0057) on

#TokyoRainbowPride2016 #TokyoRainbowPride #TokyoPride #GayPride #PrideParade

A post shared by Ariella 獅子神 アリエラ (@aricola) on

Toca pras gay! Pras gays!!! <3 #diversity #respect #tokyopride

A post shared by Reah Valente (@reahvalente) on

High-five! this is a really busy weekend…. #TokyoPride #TokyoPride2016 #GayPride #PrideParade

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