News & Opinion | March 21, 2019 1:00 pm

Japan Sterilizes Transgender People if They Want to Alter Gender on ID Cards: Report

Japan requires trans people to be sterilized if they want to update their ID.

transgender japan
Transgender people in Japan are required to be sterilized if they want to update the gender on their ID card. (Damon Coulter / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Barcroft Media via Getty Images

In Japan, a transgender person is required to be sterilized if they want to update their gender on their ID card, Time reports.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the country to discontinue the human rights violation immediately.

The group, along with other international trans rights activists, says the 2004 law, which requires trans people to “appear to have parts that resemble the genital organs” of the gender they’re registering, violates the rights of transgender people.

“Japan’s government needs urgently to address and fundamentally revise the legal recognition process that remains anchored to a diagnostic framework that fails to meet international standards,” the report said.

The HRW says Japan’s policies towards trans people are “outdated, discriminatory and coercive.”

LGBTQ+ people have had a long history in modern times with their government being anti-queer. One lawmaker said earlier this year that “a nation would collapse” if everyone was queer while another said the LGBTQ+ couples aren’t “productive.”