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Japanese trans man launches appeal over enforced medical sterilisation

February 9, 2017

A Japanese man is appealing against rules which mean transgender people must be sterilised in order to legally change their gender.

Forty-three year old Takakito Usui identifies as a man but must undergo a medical sterilisation, as well as stay unmarried and childless, for his gender to be recognised by the state.

An initial appeal to the Family Court has already been rejected, however Mr Usui is now appealing the decision.

Speaking to the press, he said the decision was “out of touch with reality”.

“The law is not fit to cover all cases because the circumstances surrounding people dealing with gender identity issues are widely varied,” he added.

“The essential thing should not be whether you have had an operation or not, but how you want to live as an individual.”

A court in Okayama said it was “not unreasonable”.

He claims the rules violate the Japanese constitution as it requires invasive surgery, which does “tremendous damage to a person’s body”.

Defending the law, however, the court said: “It is interpreted that the operation requirement was based on the understanding that keeping the reproductive ability of the sex an individual was born as is not appropriate.”

The Justice Ministry added the rules were put in place to avoid “various confusion and problems that would arise when a child was born because of the reproductive ability retained from the former sex.”

Mr Usui has been living with his girlfriend and her son since Spring last year, and wants to legally change his gender on the family register so he can marry her as a man.

In 2014, the World Health Organisation issued a statement calling for the abolition of required sterilisation, calling it a violation of human rights.

More: Asia, gender, Japan, Japan, Japanese, Sex, Trans, Transgender, transistioning

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