Transgender Identity Around the World: Japan
This is the second installment on our series about transgender identity around the world, produced and hosted by Worldview production assistant Anna Waters. In Japan, transgender people who want their gender identity recognized by the government must first be sterilized, a practice condemned by the World Health Organization and human rights groups. The law also requires Japanese people seeking a legal change in gender to be unmarried, without children, diagnosed with gender dysphoria, and fully medically transitioned, an expensive and long surgical process that not all transgender people desire. Japan is one of dozens of countries with similar sterilization laws. Success by activists fighting those requirements in some European and Latin American countries has led to renewed calls to reform Japan’s legal understanding of transgender identity. To discuss, we’re joined by Fumino Sugiyama, co-chair of Tokyo Rainbow Pride and author of the memoir “Double Happiness,” which hopes to educate Japanese people about the transgender community. We also speak with Kanae Doi, Japan director of Human Rights Watch.