Aya Kamikawa

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Aya Kamikawa
Kamikawa in 2007
Native name
上川 あや
Born (1968-01-25) January 25, 1968 (age 51)
Tokyo, Japan
Alma materHosei University

Aya Kamikawa (上川 あや, Kamikawa Aya, born January 25, 1968)[1] is a Tokyo municipal official. With her election in April 2003 she became the first openly transgender person to seek or win elected office in Japan.[2]


Kamikawa graduated from Hosei University.[3]

In 2003 Kamikawa, then a 35-year-old writer, submitted her election application papers with a blank space for "sex".[4] She won a four-year term as an independent under huge media attention, placing sixth of 72 candidates running for 52 seats in the Setagaya ward assembly, the most populous district in Tokyo.[2][5] Despite an announcement that the government would continue to consider her male officially, she stated that she would work as a woman.[2] Her platform was to improve rights for women, children, the elderly, the handicapped, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.[3]

She was the only openly transgender official in Japan until the 2017 election of Tomoya Hosoda.[6]


  • The Courage to Change (変えてゆく勇気 :「性同一性障害」の私から, Kaete yuku yūki: "sei dōitsusei shōgai" no watakushi kara), Inawami Shoten, 2007, ISBN 9784004310648

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