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ADDED ON: 12/11/2020

FOCUS: Genderless uniforms spread in Japan as LGBT students gain notice

12/10/2020 | Kyodo News

A growing number of Japanese prefectural high schools are relaxing or scrapping gender codes for uniforms to meet the needs of transgender and other sexual-minority students, with around a third of prefectures taking such steps in response to an Education Ministry request five years ago. To win broad acceptance, meanwhile, many are pitching the changes as a move that benefits students as a whole by increasing flexibility for the sake of comfort and convenience. Kyodo News surveys of education boards found that more than 600 prefecture-run schools in at least 19 of Japan’s 47 prefectures have relaxed restrictions regarding uniform dress codes, such as permitting girls to wear trousers instead of skirts. Some schools in the 28 other prefectures have followed suit, although definitive data is not available from their education boards. Nevertheless, inquiries by Kyodo News found that school uniform choices will be expanded nationwide to all prefectural high schools starting next spring.

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