Court approves gender change without surgery

A family court in western Japan has permitted a transgender person to change gender registration without undergoing surgery to remove reproductive function.

Usui Tacaquito, 50, is registered as female but has been diagnosed with gender identity disorder and has been living as a man. Usui told reporters on Wednesday that Okayama Family Court's Tsuyama Branch recognized the petition to change gender on family registry.

The court decision is in line with a Supreme Court ruling made in October. The top court ruled in respect of another person's petition that requiring people to undergo surgery to remove their reproductive function when they wish to officially change gender is unconstitutional.

The top court rejected Usui's first petition lodged eight years ago. But last year's landmark ruling prompted Usui to file the second one.

"I'm standing at the starting point of a new life," Usui said Wednesday, describing the ruling as "deeply moving."

Usui contends society has changed, saying people with gender dysphoria and those who think they have nothing to do with the issue can now step closer and discuss the matter.