Japan has come under fire from the Human Rights Watch over a national policy that demands the sterilization of transgender people.
HRW released an 84-page report this week criticizing the legal criteria for applying for a legal change of gender. The law states that at least two doctors must diagnose a patient with gender identity disorder. Patients must also have no children, be single and over the age of 20. In a perplexing addendum, however, the law also demands that patients cannot have functioning genitals.
HRW has slammed the requirement for sterilization to receive legal recognition for gender transition. Kanae Doi, director of HRW, Japan said in a statement “Japan should uphold the rights of transgender people and stop forcing them to undergo surgery to be legally recognized.”
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The new report also provides a number of testimonials from transgender Japanese individuals. “It is humiliating,” one transgender man reported. “The surgery requirement itself feels wrong. It feels a lot like a surgery to maintain order. Why do we have to put a scalpel through our healthy bodies just for the sake of the country’s order?”
Though lawsuits have attempted to amend or overturn the law, Japan’s Supreme Court recently upheld the legal requirement for sterilization. That policy runs contrary to both international law and international guidelines for best medical practices.
Absolutely abominable, Japan. This is a total violation of human rights and should be repealed ASAP.
Don’t lynch me but isn’t sterilization built into “transitioning?”
..and no kids? It makes since when you take into consideration the fact that suicide rates are extremely high in japan and the heavy stigma that would follow these kids around.
No. Where did you get the idea that transitioning, which is initially a psychological process, involves “sterilization”?
The direct side effect of sex reassignment is the inability to procreate, a.k.a sterilization. I believe this to be heavy-handed of the Japanese government, but they are essentially saying you can’t be a woman with a penis. Hard to argue that in a way, but I know people will say it doesn’t matter. Except it does.
I vote that trans-man and trans-woman be acceptable as genders of their own right. This allows for the variation.
Did you catch the part about having to be single, too? It’s all abominable.
Stigma that will remain as long as legislation like this is in place.
Do does that mean that a trans person who has children before transitioning will be denied their legal sex change regardless of where they are in the process of medically transitioning? Does this law affect the legal recognition of foreign documents of trans tourists and migrants? I have a trans friend who wants to teach English in Japan. I’m really worried that she’s going to be sorely disappointed in the reality of how conservative Japan really is.
She should definitely do the research before moving. Worse, she may have trouble coming back to the US if we don’t win some elections.
Maybe they’ll just kill the already existing children. Problem solved.
I?m Japanese and it?s quite shameful the government won’t legalize the same-sex marrige
I’m Japanese and it’s quite shameful the goverment won’t legalize the same-sax marriage
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