Japan Continues Transgender Sterilization Requirement

Jun 26, 2019 | Gov, Japan, News

Culture & Travel 

Tokyo Rainbow Pride – U.S. Embassy Tokyo

The Supreme court has chosen to uphold its 2004 law that requires transgender people who want to change their genders to have their reproductive organs removed

Japan has recently been pressured by human rights groups to remove its requirement for transgender people to be surgically sterilized before changing their documents.

“Why do we have to put a scalpel through our healthy bodies just for (the) sake of the country’s order?” said a transgender man.

Aside from sterilization, the law also mandates transgender people to appeal to a court and meet its criteria which includes being single, and not having children under 20 years old. The government also requires them to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to get a diagnosis on gender identity disorder.

The country has increased its awareness of sexual diversity. However, many members of the LGBTQ community are still hiding their gender identity to their families. They are also having trouble getting rid of gender roles.

According to Human Rights Watch, the 2004 law is not only outdated, but also abusive. It also added that the requirement to go through with an irreversible procedure is a violation of the rights of transgenders who just want to legally recognize their gender.

“Japan should uphold the rights of transgender people and stop forcing them to undergo surgery to be legally recognized,” said Japan director of Human Rights Watch Kanae Doi.

The organization interviewed 48 transgender people, health care providers, and lawyers to accompany their statement.

Recently, Taiwan legalized same-sex union which became viral on Asia news. However, Japan still has not allowed it. Lawmakers are also under scrutiny for its discriminatory comments on LGBTQ people.

A lawmaker said that Japan should not use its tax money for LGBTS right since couples are not productive. One even added that the nation would collapse if all its citizens became a part of the community.

Japan is not the only place which requires transgender people to get sterilized. There are also several states in the US which require people to go through with the invasive medical procedure to change their gender on documents such as driver’s license and birth certificate.

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