[APYLP x Asia21 Joint Session]
What the Future Holds for an LGBT-inclusive Asia

This event now concluded. Report available here.



  • Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2019, 6:00–8:00 pm (Doors open at 5:30 pm)
    *Reception to follow (to 9:00 pm).
  • Venue: Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall, International House of Japan
  • Speakers:
    Part 1 “Equal Marriage Rights in Japan”
    ・Kazuhiko OIGAWA (Governor, Ibaraki Prefecture)
    ・Fumino SUGIYAMA (CEO, New Canvas)
    Moderator: Kanae DOI (Japan Director, Human Rights Watch)
    *Any updates or changes in speakers will be announced through this website.

    Part 2 “Equal Marriage Rights in Asia”
    Keynote Speaker: LUONG The Huy (Director, iSEE Institute / Vietnam)
    ・Fumino SUGIYAMA (CEO, New Canvas)
    ・Joyce TENG (Deputy Coordinator and Lobbying Manager, Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan)
    Moderator: Daisuke KAN (Executive Director, Cheerio Corporation)

    Special Guest:
    Caroline KENNEDY (Trustee, Asia Society; former US Ambassador to Japan)
    Rika BEPPU (Partner, Squire Patton Boggs, Tokyo)

  • Co-organized by Asia Society Japan Center
  • Language: English / Japanese (with simultaneous interpretation)
  • Admission: 3,000 yen (I-House Members and Students: 1,500 yen) *Including reception
  • Seating: 200
Over the last two decades, 28 countries and regions have extended marriage rights to lesbian and gay couples. This year, Taiwan became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. What can we learn from the journey of Taiwan, and what is Japan doing to promote marriage equality? In this session, we will have three LGBT human rights advocates from Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam as panelists to explore LGBT issues in Japan and Asia, and what equal marriage rights means from the legal, human rights, personal, mental health and business perspectives. We will also invite Japanese political leaders to discuss their thoughts on the equal marriage rights campaign in Japan. From there, we will think about what each of us can do to create a more inclusive society.


Opening Remarks

Panel Discussion 2 “Equal Marriage Rights in Asia” (English/Japanese without subtitles)


(Director, iSEE Institute)

Luong The HuyLuong began volunteering in LGBTI* advocacy work in 2008. In 2011, he officially joined the LGBTI rights movement and worked on community advocacy and capacity building work, dealing with the press, schools and health centers. He was on the Forbes Vietnam’s “30 Under 30” list as one of the 30 most inspiring people under the age of 30 in Vietnam. He earned a Master of Law degree (LL.M.) at the University of California, Los Angeles, with specialization in Law and Sexuality. Currently he serves as Director of the iSEE Institute, a Vietnamese NGO working for human rights and civil society movements. Asia Society Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative’s 2018 Fellow.
*LGBTI: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex
(CEO, New Canvas)

Fumino SugiyamaSugiyama earned a Master’s Degree from Waseda University, where he conducted studies in the field of sexuality. After graduation, he spent two years backpacking around the world, visiting over 50 countries and even the Antarctic, during which he witnessed various social issues. Serving as a member of the Shibuya Ward Gender Equality and Social Diversity Promotional Committee, he was part of the movement that led Shibuya Ward to become the first municipality in Japan to recognize same-sex partnerships. His autobiography Double Happiness (Kodansha, 2006) was not only translated into Korean, but also converted into a comic book. He is also a former member of the Japan Women’s National Fencing Team.
Joyce TENG
(Deputy Coordinator and Lobbying Manager, Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan)

Joyce TengTeng holds a Master’s Degree in Law from National Taiwan University. She served as a legislative assistant for the parliament of Taiwan from 2013 to 2015, and has dedicated herself to same-sex marriage legalization since 2016. In 2017, she organized the collection of amicus curiae briefs from 14 different profession for the Constitutional Court, the opinions in which were eventually cited in Interpretation No. 748 by the grand justices—an unprecedented case in Taiwan. After the anti-LGBT referenda campaign in 2018, she lobbied for legislators’ support for full marriage rights. In Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, she is mainly in charge of legal and policy research as well as lobbying affairs.
Daisuke KAN
(Executive Director, Cheerio Corporation)

Daisuke KanKan has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in Japanese society. His family business, Cheerio Corporation, has been the top sponsor for the Tokyo Rainbow Pride Parade since 2014 and is committed to promoting LGBT rights nationwide. He is also a founding member of the Asia Society Japan Center, Scott M. Johnson Fellow of the US-Japan Foundation, Senior Advisor of SKYLABO (Stanford-based STEAM education program) and Director at E-Lab (a non-profit organization which stimulates children’s creativity through art). He earned a B.A. in American Studies (Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Rights) from the University of Tokyo and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Asia Society Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative’s 2011 Fellow.
Kazuhiko OIGAWA
(Governor, Ibaraki Prefecture)

Kazuhiko OigawaGovernor Oigawa graduated from the University of Tokyo with a law degree. During his career with the then-Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), he was appointed the first representative of its Singapore Office. After MITI, he worked as an executive at Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and Dwango. He was elected governor of Ibaraki Prefecture in 2017 and is now serving his first term. Under his leadership, Ibaraki became the first of the 47 prefectures to recognize same-sex partnerships.
Kanae DOI
(Japan Director, Human Rights Watch)

Kanae DoiDoi works to encourage the Japanese government to prioritize human rights in its foreign and domestic policies and practices. She also works on media outreach and the development of Human Rights Watch’s profile in Japan. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch in 2006, she worked as a practicing attorney, based in Tokyo. Her practice included refugee law, immigration law, constitutional law and criminal defense. In 2011 Doi was chosen as a member of the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum. She received her Master’s Degree in International Studies from the New York University School of Law. Asia Society Asia 21 Young Global Leaders Initiative’s 2008 Fellow.
Caroline KENNEDY
(Trustee, Asia Society; Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan)

The first woman to serve as United States Ambassador to Japan (2013–2017). As Ambassador, Kennedy supported the economic empowerment of women and worked to increase student exchange between the United States and Japan. Kennedy is an attorney and the author/editor of eleven books on subjects such as law, civics, and poetry. She also played a leading role in New York City school reform efforts from 2002 to 2013. She serves as honorary President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and of the Senior Advisory Committee of the Harvard Institute of Politics. She is also a Director of the Boeing Company, a Trustee of the Asia Society and the US-Japan Foundation, and an Overseer of the International Rescue Committee.
(Squire Patton Boggs, Tokyo, Partner)

Rika BeppuBeppu advises Japanese and multinational companies on their cross-border M&A transactions. She pursued her legal studies in England after graduating from Sophia University, and qualified as a Solicitor of England and Wales in 1994. She has been working as a lawyer in private practice in London, Hong Kong and Tokyo, and joined Squire Patton Boggs in 2017. She serves as chairman of the Legal Services Committee of the European Business Council, director of Lawyers for LGBT & Allies Network. She is founding and former President of Women in Law Japan, Asia Society Japan Center founding member and auditor, and Asia 21 Japan chapter leader. Asia Society Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative 2016 fellow.


1) APYLP connects participants of young leader programs across the region to work together to envisage a common future for this new world. I-House provides a “home in Japan” where young leaders across various programs and stakeholder groups can periodically gather to discuss and shape the future of the region.
2) The Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative creates a network of diverse change-makers (under the age of 40), united by a shared commitment to shaping a brighter future for the Asia-Pacific region, and provides a catalytic platform where young leaders enrich each other’s endeavors.