Japan: Court Allows Gender Change Without Sterilization

  • A Japanese court on Wednesday approved a transgender man's request to have his gender changed in official records without first undergoing sterilization surgery. US News & World Report
  • The ruling will allow Tacaquito Usui to change his gender to male on his family registry. Usui originally applied for the revision five years ago but was rejected. In the most recent ruling, the court found the hormone therapy he had undergone made him eligible for legal gender recognition. US News & World Report
  • The ruling is the first of its kind since October when Japan's Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to require the removal of reproductive organs as a precondition for legal recognition of a gender other than that assigned at birth. The ruling only applies to the provision requiring sterilization and not the constitutionality of requiring other procedures. WION
  • The October Supreme Court ruling addressed a 2004 decision stating that people who wanted to register a gender change were required to have their reproductive organs removed, including ovaries and testes. Guardian (LR: 2 CP: 5)
  • Since 2004, more than 10K Japanese residents have had their gender formally changed. Japan Today

Narrative A:

  • The laws in Japan are evolving more quickly than public acceptance of LGBTQ people is. Japan remains a deeply conservative country rooted in conformity, and many LGBTQ people remain closeted in fear of ostracization at school or work. It's important to maintain this view of Japan's unique cultural context before being too harsh on the government.

Narrative B:

  • It's Japan's government, not the public, that needs to change. LGBTQ rights in the country are still far behind many other developed nations, and more needs to be done to give members of this community appropriate legal rights and protections. The government is still very traditional and conservative and is resistant to accepting gender and sexual diversity in its policies.
    GUARDIAN (LR: 2 CP: 5)
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