An emerging number of Japanese schools are introducing unisex uniforms or flexible uniform codes in an effort to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

School officials hope the move will ease the mental anguish of such students, who are usually required to wear gender-based uniforms typified by jackets with stand-up collars and trousers for boys, and sailor-type outfits with skirts for girls.

At Kashiwanoha Junior High School, which opened in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, in April, students can freely choose whether to wear skirts or slacks or ties or ribbons with blazers, regardless of their sex.