Last week, Chikushi Jogakuen University, a women’s university located in Fukuoka, Japan, on the island of Kyushu, announced they will begin accepting transgender students for admission. The university stated they will give more details towards the end of 2019. The university follows the example of other women’s colleges in Japan that have announced similar policies; however it will be the first university in Kyushu to admit transgender students.
Although Japan has strict gender roles and is known for their lack of LGBTQIA+ rights, Japan’s minor strides provide hope on a societal level for those that face inequality in Japan. However, on a governmental level, Japan still has a lot of work to do to pave the way for equality.
Earlier this year, The Japanese Supreme Court unanimously upheld Law 111, which requires transgender people looking to officially change their gender to undergo sterilization by removing their original reproductive organs, which caused human rights and LGBTQIA+ activists to immediately denounce the ruling.
Last year, Ochanomizu Women’s University in Tokyo shattered boundaries and paved a new path by announcing a new policy that would welcome transgender students starting in 2020. In the policy, they emphasized as long as that students identify as female, they are eligible for admission; in other words, the school will not require students born with male genitalia to undergo a sex-change operation before enrolling. This policy is the first of its kind in Japan. Since Ochanomizu University’s announcement, a few other women’s colleges have followed suit, like Nara Women’s University, and Tsuda University.
Media Resources: SoraNews 24 4/10/19; SoraNews 24 7/2/18; Feminist Newswire 1/28/19