Social Issues

Japanese top court rules sterilization requirement for gender change unconstitutional

Tokyo, Oct 25 (EFE).- The Supreme Court of Japan ruled Wednesday that the rule requiring people seeking to change their gender to undergo surgery was unconstitutional.

This is the twelfth time since 1945 that Japan’s apex court has considered a legal provision unconstitutional, which is expected to pressurize the parliament to revise the law on transgenders.

The court also ordered a retrial of a case that led to the lawsuit, stemming from a 2004 law that has been criticized by rights groups and members of the LGBT+ community.

The plaintiff in question is a transgender person, a male by birth who sought to officially change his gender to female, by receiving hormonal treatment and not undergoing sex reassignment surgery.

The law in question stipulates that in order to change their gender in the civil registry, transgender persons must undergo a complete sex change operation that takes away their reproductive ability.

For the operation, the concerned person must also undergo the evaluation of two or more doctors who authorize it, among other requirements such as not having minor children or being married.

As of 2022, a total of 11,919 people had officially changed their gender in Japan, according to court data published by public broadcaster NHK. EFE


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