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Rally against transgender hate held in Tokyo to highlight legal challenges

Participants raise their voices at a demonstration held in front of the south exit of Shinjuku Station to highlight the current state of transgender people in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward on June 26, 2022. (Mainichi/Natsuki Nishi)

TOKYO -- Transgender activists held a protest in Tokyo on June 26 to raise awareness about legal issues surrounding trans people and to demonstrate against discrimination.

    The rally at the south exit of Shinjuku Station in the capital was timed specifically to match Pride Month in June, when LGBTQ and other sexual minority rights advocacy and awareness events are held in many parts of the world.

    Transgender people identify as being of a gender that differs from the sex that they were assigned at birth. The event was co-sponsored by two organizations, Transgender Japan, which has been working to achieve human rights and dignity for trans people, and ArienaiDemo, which has been holding demonstrations to protest human rights violations against trans people.

    Tomoya Asanuma, co-president of Transgender Japan, commented, "The requirements to change one's gender in the family register (in Japan) are very high hurdles. It's time to ease or eliminate these obstacles."

    Tanomi, a representative for ArienaiDemo, added, "I hope people will speak out against the unbelievable system that discriminates against trans people."

    In Japan, changing one's sex in the family register requires more stringent measures by law than in other countries, such as having to undergo surgery to lose one's reproductive functions.

    (Japanese original by Miyuki Fujisawa, Digital News Department)

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