Pride House Tokyo 2020 are set to open to the public next month ©Pride House Tokyo

The Pride House Tokyo Legacy, an information centre for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and other identifying people, will open its doors next month before the city's planned staging of the Olympics in 2021.

The facility will be available to use for free and will have books and materials for LGBT people as well as space for counselling.

It is set to open on October 11 in the capital's Shinjuku Ward after previously being planned to open in the summer.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were postponed to 2021 – and this in turn gave Pride House Tokyo Legacy more time to organise its new building.

"We decided to open it earlier after some people told us that it's tough to spend time inside the house with a family who have no understanding," said Gon Matsunaka, head of the Pride House Tokyo Consortium.

"We want to make this a place for those young people."

The consortium is made up of individuals, companies and non-profit groups.

The Pride House movement was launched during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics by local non-profit organisations, to promote the existence of sexual and gender minority groups in sport.

Since then, Pride House has been part of the Olympic Movement – with the exception of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics where the project was struck down by the Russian Ministry of Justice.

This coincided with the anti-LGBT laws of the country that still exist today.

Pride House has been part of the Olympics since 2010 and has featured at major events such as the 2014 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images
Pride House has been part of the Olympics since 2010 and has featured at major events such as the 2014 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

The new centre has been recognised as an "official Tokyo 2020 programme" and will remain as an LGBT centre after the Games concludes.

"It will let more people know about the importance of diversity," said Shiho Shimoyamada, a 25-year-old women's football player who is a member of the consortium.

Shimoyamada came out as gay last year in an interview for Pride House Tokyo.

A record 56 known LGBT athletes participated in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Japan is one of the most LGBT progressive nations in Asia, with homosexuality being legal since 1880.

Although transgender people have been recognised since 2004, a controversial part of its law requires them to only be identified as their preferred gender after reassignment surgery and sterilisation.

Despite the public seeming to be more in favour of same sex marriage than against it in 2015, it is still not legal in Japan. 

Anti-discrimination laws also do not exist in most of the country, including in the workplace, and same-sex adoption is not legal.