Ochanomizu Women’s University announced that they will accept
applications from transgender students who identify as female from 2020. The
university will be Japan’s first women university that accepts transgender
Ochanomizu Women’s University traces its origin to Meiji Era. It was founded as Japan’s first women’s university run by the nation. There are approximately 3000 students studying in the university.
Ochanomizu Women’s University has since accepted applications from female students whose family registry is registered as “female.” However, the university is to accept applications from transgender students who identify as female from 2020.
According to Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology(MEXT), there are 77 women’s universities in Japan, but none of them accepts transgender students. Ochanomizu Women’s University will be the first university that accepts them. MEXT said providing support on campus needed to be considered.
Last March, it was reported that Japan Women’s University was considering accepting transgender students so Asahi Shimbun conducted a survey among 64 women’s universities. Ochanomizu Women’s University answered that they were considering it.
At that time, some people were talking about whether transgender students who hadn’t taken sex-change surgeries would need official documents written by doctors. Others were saying that it would be totally behind the times to require such documents. It was a hot topic in transgender people’s community.
Lawyer Tomoshi Sakka says that it is impossible for women’s universities to deny applications from transgender students who have changed sex on their family registries because it is against the law. He also says there is some doubt that women’s universities have good reasons that can convince people that they are needed in society because women’s universities were at first founded to fill the gap of education between men and women in the eras when women’s education was viewed as unnecessary and unimportant. As for the transgender students who have not changed sex on their family registries, Lawyer Tomoshi Sakka says it is against the law to deny the right to receive education even if it’s a private university or state-run university. (Bengoshi Dot Com News 2017.)