Transgender students in Japan get OK to attend women’s university
TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) – Ochanomizu University, a women’s university in Tokyo, will accept transgender students from April 2020, the university has said.
“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 said.
Transgender people, whose sense of their own gender differs from their physical sexual characteristics, are medically diagnosed as having gender identity disorder (GID) in Japan. T
he university has accepted only female students. Admitting transgender students, the university will for the first time have students who are physically male.
To implement the change, the university seems to need to take some measures, such as changing the admission criteria and considering campus facilities and relations with other female students. The university will hold a press conference soon to explain why it reached the decision and other matters.
Some other women’s universities in Japan — Gakushuin Women’s College, Tsuda University, Tokyo Women’s Christian University, Japan Women’s University and Nara Women’s University — are also considering similar moves, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. Tokyo Women’s Christian University started discussing the topic in academic 2017. They are studying how to change their admission criteria and what measures to take regarding campus facilities.
A ministry survey in fiscal 2013 found there were at least 606 students with possible GID at elementary schools, junior high schools and high schools nationwide. In April 2015, the ministry issued a notification to regional boards of education to consider the needs of students with GID. The notification included recommended support measures for these students, such as allowing them to wear school uniforms for the sex with which they identify and to use restrooms for teachers.