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Washington Spirit forward Kumi Yokoyama came out as a transgender man on Saturday, becoming the highest-profile Japanese athlete to do so in a country where acceptance of LGBTQ issues faces numerous hurdles despite recent trends toward understanding.

In a video interview posted on the YouTube channel of former Nadeshiko Japan teammate Yuki Nagasato, the 27-year-old said that playing in the United States and Germany had shown Yokoyama that it could be possible to live openly.

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