Japan’s top court overturns sterilisation requirement for trans people

Japan's top court overturns sterilisation requirement for trans people

Japan’s highest court has struck down a law requiring transgender people to be surgically sterilised before their gender identity can be legally recognised.

The Supreme Court of Japan today unanimously ruled that the provision in a law dating back to 2003 is incompatible with Article 13 of the Japanese constitution which deals with individual rights.

The ruling was handed down in a case brought by a trans woman which has now been referred back to a lower court, The Japan Times reports.

Boram Jang, East Asia researcher at Amnesty International, said: “This is a landmark decision for transgender rights in Japan, and the latest encouraging sign that countries in the region are re-evaluating discriminatory practices or laws affecting LGBTI people.

“The court’s ruling is an important step forward, but the fight for LGBTI rights in Japan remains an uphill battle.

“Amnesty International continues to call on the Japanese authorities to ensure legal gender recognition is not contingent on psychiatric diagnosis, medical treatment such as gender-affirming surgery or other abusive or discriminatory requirements such as being unmarried or not having children.

“It must be a quick, accessible and transparent administrative process based on an individual’s self-determination.”

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