Japan Court Upholds Sterilization for Transgender Hopefuls

Pic: Asahi Shimbun

Trans people must be sterilized before they are legally allowed to change their gender after the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Takakito Usui, a transgender man who tried to overturn Law 111, which requires applicants to “permanently lack functioning” reproductive parts to qualify for gender affirmation according to CNN.


Notwithstanding the fact that the court has acknowledged this law restricts freedom, they stress the initial purpose for the 2003 law is to avoid “confusion” amongst the community and families.

The procedure to change one’s gender follows a strict set of guidelines, where applicants must be single, under 20, and bear no children. They must receive a psychiatric evaluation and receive a diagnosis of “Gender Identity Disorder.” Subsequently, they must be sterilized.

In a country where conformity is highly expected, and where a number of lawmakers in the conservative party have made a slew of discriminatory remarks against the LGBT community, many are pressured to show their real selves, some even hiding their sexuality from their own families for fear of being “different.”

While the Supreme Court decided to end the battle, Usui and his lawyer believe it will lay the foundations for a better change.

“I think the ruling could lead to a next step,” Usui told a news conference. “I hope to find what constitutes a family of my own that does not fit the traditional mold.”

What’s more, 70% of respondents urge the country to better the society for the LGBT community according to a recent poll conducted by Dentsu.

In fact, diversity has been an issue Japan is struggling to define. Nissin recently was criticized for “whitewashing” US Open Champion Naomi Osaka in their latest commercial. “It’s obvious I’m tan,” she said in a press conference. “For now I’m just focused on [the game.]”

Nissin later apologized, and aimed to take into account diversity in the future.

Osaka faces Petra Kvitova for the Australian Open Title tomorrow, 3:30AM ET to go for her second straight major title.

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