• Kyodo


The publisher of Kojien, Japan’s most authoritative dictionary, has revised the definitions of two words, including LGBT, that appeared in its seventh edition released earlier this month.

The new entries for LGBT and Shimanami Expressway have been posted on its official website and will be the only words revised, publisher Iwanami Shoten said.

In the LGBT entry, Kojien failed to distinguish lesbian, gay and bisexual from transgender, defining LGBT as collective term meaning “people whose sexual orientations are different from the majority.”

Lesbian, gay and bisexual describe sexual orientations, but transgender refers to people whose gender identity differs from their sex at birth.

The revised entry defines LGBT as, “in broad terms, people whose sexual orientations are not heterosexual or people whose gender identity does not match the sex they were identified with at birth.”

The revision was prompted by LGBT advocates who demanded a correction.

Also revised was the entry for Shimanami Expressway, which originally described it as a section of road linking Honshu and Shikoku and listed four other islands it runs through. In the revised entry, the incorrect reference to Suo-Oshima Island in Yamaguchi Prefecture was deleted and replaced with Oshima Island in Ehime Prefecture.

The publisher offered an apology on Thursday and said the two words are the only ones that needed correction. Flyers bearing the corrections and an apology will be distributed at bookstores, and the revised definitions will appear in any reprints.

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