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Japan urged to stop requiring transgender sterilization

TOKYO — Human Rights Watch is urging Japan to drop its requirement that transgender people be sterilized to have their gender changed on official documents.

A 2004 law states people wishing to register a gender change must have their original reproductive organs removed and have a body that “appears to have parts that resemble the genital organs” of the gender they want to register. The Supreme Court in January rejected an appeal by a transgender man who wanted legal recognition without undergoing surgery.

Human Rights Watch said the compulsory sterilization requirement is abusive and outdated. A report the international rights group released Wednesday said requiring invasive and irreversible medical procedures violates the rights of transgender people who want their gender identity legally recognized.

The Associated Press