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Today is Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Transsexuals Given Ministry Approval

[TOKYO] - The home affairs ministry has told the Tokyo Metropolitan Election Administration commission that local election commissions should accept a candidate's application even if it is filed showing a gender different from that in the candidate's family register, it was learned Monday.

It may be the first time that the government has clarified that a person can run for public office or submit a public document in his or her preferred sex, regardless of registered gender.

The announcement came after Aya Kamikawa, 35, who suffers from gender identity disorder, left the gender column blank in late March when filing to run in the upcoming Setagaya Ward Assembly. Kamikawa was born a man.

In response to the green light by the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry, Kamikawa said she will send a revised application listing herself as a woman to the Setagaya election commission on Wednesday.

The election will be held April 27.

Kamikawa called it a "landmark" decision, adding, "I hope the decision will serve as a starting point for necessary legal reforms to allow one to live fully in accordance with one's preferred sex."

The ministry said local election commissions should "strongly urge" a candidate to use his or her registered gender when filing a candidacy application.

"But if a candidate refuses to comply with such recommendations, (local election commissions) have no choice but to accept it as it is," the Setagaya election commission quoted a ministry official as saying.

The Family Registration Law bars people who have undergone sex-reassignment operations from changing their registered gender. Kamikawa said this is both inconvenient and humiliating.

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