The Human Rights Watch has urged the Japanese government to revise an "outdated, discriminatory, and coercive" policy that coerces transgender people into surgical sterilization.
Earlier today, the organization issued a lengthy, new report recommending that the 2004 Gender Identity Disorder (GID) Special Cases Act be reexamined. Currently, the law requires transgender people who want to legally change their gender to undergo an invasive and irreversible sterilization surgery.
Based off interviews with 48 trans people, as well as legal and medical experts, the report argues that the process and the government's continued dehumanization of the trans experience is discriminatory and "based on an outdated premise that treats gender identity as a so-called 'mental illness' and should be urgently revised."
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time Japan's policy has caught international attention. According to NBC, back in January, the country's Supreme Court reportedly rejected a trans man's appeal to have his gender be recognized while forgoing the procedure.
The solution? "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 and has been roundly criticized and discredited worldwide," the Human Rights Watch concluded. "Mandatory surgical interventions amount to coercion."