Human Rights Watch says Japan's sex education program is falling behind world standards.
By
Michaela Morgan

1 May 2017 - 12:16 PM  UPDATED 1 May 2017 - 12:16 PM

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Japan has missed an important opportunity to educate students about sexual and gender minorities.

The national curriculum is reviewed once every ten years but the Japanese government has opted to omit LGBT+ content saying that it would be too “difficult” because “the public and guardians have not accepted” the topic yet.

HRW has released a statement condemning the decision saying, “Japan’s children have a right to accurate and inclusive education—in particular, sex education.”

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The statement points to a 2013 report that surveyed 6,000 primary and high school teachers from across six municipalities.

The survey found that between 63 and 73 per cent of responders thought LGBT issues should be included in the curriculum.

Currently, students in Japan are taught that “when in puberty…young people develop an interest in the opposite sex.”

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“Until recently, people have acted as if sexual minorities do not exist. We have many hurdles to overcome, but I hope to live up to everyone’s expectations.”

HRW recently commended Japan for including LGBT students in its national bullying prevention policy but says there is still a long way to go.

“Major United Nations agencies, such as UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and UNESCO, recommend LGBT-inclusive approaches to education.

“Japan’s sex education curriculum falls far short of these standards, and will continue to fail students.”