A member of Japan's Osaka Prefectural Assembly came out as a lesbian Aug. 13 at Tokyo's gay pride parade.
'Homosexual people have often kept silent for fear of discrimination and prejudice,' Kanako Otsuji, 30, told reporters the day before the march. 'By declaring I'm homosexual, I would like to highlight the problems and put an end to a vicious circle of discrimination and prejudice.'
Otsuji also said she has written an autobiography called 'Coming Out: A Journey for Finding Your True Self.'
Osaka prefecture has a population of 8.84 million and is second in size only to Tokyo prefecture. Otsuji was elected to the assembly in April 2003.