Japan: Court Allows Gender Change Without Sterilization

    Japan: Court Allows Gender Change Without Sterilization
    Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • A Japanese court on Wednesday approved a transgender man's request to have his gender changed in official records without first undergoing sterilization surgery.

    • 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.

    The Spin

    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.

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