Workers hang a banner celebrating the city's successful bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics as they prepare for an official event by the Tokyo Municipal Government to report the news to Tokyo citizens at the government office square in Tokyo Sunday morning, Sept. 8, 2013. The International Olympic Committee announced Tokyo as the host city of the 2020 games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Japan could implement gay marriage to avoid Olympic Games backlash

A number of Japanese lawmakers have formed a committee that hopes to implement same-sex marriage before the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) member Hiroshi Hase has explained that the committee are desperate for the country to not capture the world's attention for the wrong reasons, like the media backlash Russia faced during the Sochi Winter Olympics last year because of its anti-gay law. Japan Olympics Tokyo 2020 Citizens   So far, 38 lawmakers have joined the pro-equality committee, including 13 from Japan's ruling party LDP. They intend to study overseas anti-discrimination and same-sex marriage laws, hoping to find a way to implement similar legislation into Japanese law. "As it hosts the Olympic Games, there is no doubt that Japanese society will be questioned on how it treats its sexual minorities," said Hase, arguing that Japan needs to deepen its understanding of the LGBT community.  "We must substantiate the principles described in the basic plan of the Games." Currently, same-sex marriage is illegal in Japan. An opinion poll carried out by Nihon Yoron Chosa-ka in 2014 found that 42.3% of the public support same-sex marriage, while 52.4% are still against it. More stories: James Franco on his sexuality: ‘I guess it depends how you define gay’ One Direction’s Liam: ‘I ended up kissing Zayn once’