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First trans man elected to office in Japan

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Tomoya Hasoda,25, has made history in the Land of the Rising Sun. He is the first trans man to be elected to public office in Japan, taking a seat at the Iruma City Council.

Although not the first transgender person to hold office, that title goes to trans woman Kamikawa Aya back in 2003, Hasoda, a medical science graduate, hopes that despite the ignorance of the issue in his country, he can bring a new attitude among his colleagues.

“Until recently, people have acted as if sexual and gender minorities do not exist,” he said.

“We have many hurdles to overcome, but I hope to live up to everyone’s expectations.”

Hasoda says his new position will be a springboard of involvement for issues concerning the elderly, the disabled community and the LGBTI community.  

“It is now time to build a foundation for the people who need to move forward. Some walls can not be overcome by one person. We have to work together, and help each other out,” he said.

“My parents, friends, colleagues and old school mates support me. While there were so many troubles, a lot of suffering, we can move forward one step at a time.”