Japan: Transgender policy set to change in 4 more women’s colleges

Four additional women’s universities are considering accepting transgender women students who are legally male following the recent decision by Ochanomizu University to change its admissions policy. Ochanomizu University, a state-run college in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward, announced the policy on July 2 that will become effective from fiscal 2020.

The education ministry said Ochanomizu University’s decision is probably the first of its kind among women’s colleges in Japan. All the institutions in question have only accepted students who are legally women until now.

Two of the other women’s universities mulling the policy change are Tsuda University and Japan Women’s University, both located in Tokyo, where discussions have progressed in earnest. Tokyo Woman’s Christian University in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward has also considered starting to accept the minority group in fiscal 2020 or later. A group consisting of the vice president and university faculty was set up last summer, and it will compile a basic guideline on the issue by the end of fiscal 2018. Nara Women’s University in Nara, another state-run college, has also discussed giving transgender women the opportunity to sit for its entrance exam. 

Yuko Takahashi, president of Tsuda University in Kodaira, said, “We welcomed Ochanomizu University’s decision, which followed last year’s proposal by Japan Women’s University to discuss changing their policy on transgender students.”

“Women’s universities had provided a study environment for women whose opportunities have been limited. We judged that we should accept sexual minority people who are struggling to live their lives by expanding the definition of women,” Takahashi said. Read more via Asahi