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Women’s university in Japan will start accepting trans students

Women’s university in Japan will start accepting trans students

a group of girls in traditional japanese costume smiling at the camera

A women’s university in Tokyo, Japan will soon start to accept enrollments from trans students.

Ochanomizu University announced this week it will start to accept trans students from April 2020.

It follows in the footsteps of the prestigious Japan Women’s University (JWU) who last year promised to accept trans women who had undergone gender affirming surgery.

But Ochanomizu will accept students whose official gender markers still say male.

‘It is unprecedented for a women’s university to accept transgender [students] who are male on their family registers,’ an official at the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry told The Yomiuri Shimbun.

Other women’s universities considering allowing trans students to attend are; Gakushuin Women’s College, Tsuda University, Tokyo Women’s Christian University and Nara Women’s University.

Transitioning in Japan

Allowing students to attend without officially updating their gender markers will make it a lot easier for trans people.

In order to be recognized as a trans and to update gender markers on official documents, trans people must go through a complicated medical and legal process.

To legally update your gender in Japan you must be at least 20 years old and have no children under the age of 18. People must get sterilized and undergo gender affirming surgery. The cost of the surgery is unaffordable for many people at about 1 million yen (USD8,900).

To enrol in an all female university, trans students may have to show a doctor’s certificate proving they have gender dysphoria.

In 2015, Japan’s Education Ministry (MEXT) issued an order to educational institutions to improve inclusion of trans people.

One of the suggestions in the order asked schools to allow students to wear the uniform matching their gender identity.

Since then, many schools have worked on creating gender neutral uniforms to allow students to be more comfortable.

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