- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 28, 2018

In Japan, the country that made the school uniform an international fashion icon, fewer Japanese students will have to make the binary choice between skirts or slacks in the future.

Gender-neutral school uniforms are on the rise in Japan, The Japan Times reported Thursday. Officials at a growing number of schools will allow students to mix and match features such as ribbons or neckties and will be allowed to switch uniform designs to gender-neutral colors.

The move is intended to “ease the mental anguish” of LGBT students, the report said.

“Some students are embarrassed and cannot concentrate on their studies,” Anri Ishizaki, an LGBT activist, told the newspaper.

Schools making changes include Kashiwanoha Junior High School in Kashiwa and the Setagaya Ward in Tokyo. According to the Japan Times, the changes follow a notice issued by Japan’s education ministry that urged administrators to support gay- and transgender-friendly clothing.

The new rules apply not just to transgender students but to all students, the report noted.

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