Advocacy Group Calls On Japan To End Sterilization of Transgender People

by Ryan Lynch

South Florida Gay News

Saturday December 30, 2017

An international human rights group is asking Japan to not require transgender people to be sterilized.

Human Rights Watch criticized rule 111 of 2003 as an unfair law for transitioning people in a recent report, according to NBC News. Rule 111 requires all transitioning people the be single, without children under 20, to get a psychological evaluation and to be sterilized.

"Forcing people to undergo unwanted surgeries to obtain documentation is contrary both to Japan's human rights obligations and its reputation as a champion of LGBT rights," the report stated. "The government should urgently revise Law 111 to end forced sterilization."

Japan is not the lone country that requires sterilization for transitioning individuals. 20 European countries, including Switzerland, Finland and Luxembourg, require the treatment as part of the gender change.

The author of the Human Right Watch report Kyle Knight said that Japan could soon change its rules to make sterilization a choice instead of mandatory.

"This is a very basic switch, and it's not asking a lot for the government to do this," Knight said to NBC News. "The basic thing that it's arguing is that the government shouldn't decide for people who they are and shouldn't put people through arduous, harmful, expensive, irreversible procedures as a part of recognizing people for who they are."

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