Japanese politician Mio Sugita has made international news due to her anti-LGBTQ comments on a television show. The program is co-hosted by Koichi Sugiyama, who composes music for the Dragon Quest games.
The network is very right-wing. The show isn’t mainstream, nor is it widely seen. Sugiyama’s work, however, is. This chyron lists him as Dragon Quest’s music composer as well as his political advocacy.
Below are some of Sugita’s comments. The clip has been subtitled and edited (you can see the full episode here). The voice you hear laughing along is Sugiyama’s.
This isn’t in the above clip, but when saying that tax dollars shouldn’t go to gay couples, Sugita added, “This isn’t discrimination. This is differentiation.” (“Sabestsu jyanai desuyo ne. Kubetsu nan desu.”)
Sugiyama chimed in, “[It’s] differentiation.” (“Kubetsu.”)
Sugita has been heavily criticized for her remarks. The Asahi Shimbun, one of the country’s largest papers, ran an editorial titled, “Sugita’s idiocy on LGBT rejected by society but not the LDP.” Sugita is a member of the LDP, or Liberal Democratic Party, which isn’t liberal, but rather, the country’s conservative ruling party.
This isn’t the only time Sugita has been the center of controversy. Earlier this month, Sugita blamed the alleged rape of journalist Shiori Ito on “clear errors on her part as a woman — drinking that much in front of a man and losing her memory.”
If you are wondering about what kind of politician Sugita is, Temple University professor Michael Thomas Cucek has this explainer:
This also isn’t the first time Sugiyama has been the center of controversy. The famed composer has been labeled a Japanese war crime denier. That might explain why he appears on a network that previously came under fire for a documentary claiming the Nanking Massacre did not happen.
Wonder what Square Enix thinks about all this.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.