October 29, 2007 / 10:36 AM / 11 years ago

Japan sex-change parents can't change records

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Supreme Court has denied pleas from two people with gender identity disorders to change their sex in government household records, their legal adviser said on Monday.

Masami Osako, 51, and Sayaka Morimura, 47, had wanted to have their registered sex switched to female from male after undergoing sex-change operations.

But both were denied the move under a law that says people who have children cannot change their sex on the household registry. Osako and Morimura each have a child with wives they had divorced before their sex changes.

Lawyer Toshiyuki Oshima, who advised the two separate cases, said he now planned to urge politicians to change the conditions under which transsexuals can change their records.

“Now that the Supreme Court has denied the change, we now have grounds to ask lawmakers to revise the law so that people with children can also have their registry changed,” Oshima said by telephone.

Under a law in place since 2004, people diagnosed with gender identity disorder can change their sex in Japan’s detailed household registry system, but under several conditions, including that they are unmarried and have no children.

More than 570 people succeeded in changing their registered sex under the law up until the end of 2006, Oshima said. Eight have been denied the change, all because they had children.

The Supreme Court ruled that allowing a registry change for someone with a child would “add confusion to family discipline and would possibly cause problems for the child’s welfare.”

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