Tomoya Hosoda has become the first transman to be elected to public office in Japan. Hosoda, 25, who transitioned in 2015, was elected as a councillor in the central Japanese city of Iruma, Pink News and local media reported.

Hosoda stood on a platform of equal rights not only for members of the LGBT community but also other groups including the elderly and disabled.

"Coming out is just the starting line," Hosoda told Out in Japan. "It is now time to build a foundation for the people who need to move forward. Some walls can not be overcome by one person. We have to work together, and help each other out."

Hosoda says his family and friends were supportive when he came out as transgender while studying medical science at Teikyo University.

"My parents, friends, colleagues and old schoolmates support me. While there were so many troubles, a lot of suffering, we can move forward one step at a time. The more we meet people, the narrow-minded way of thinking will expand."

Transwomen have attained public office around the world over the last few years, being elected to public office in countries including the US, Cuba, New Zealand, the Philippines and Chile. In Japan, Kamikawa Aya was elected to a municipal post in Tokyo in 2003, the Independent reports. However female-to-male public figures remain relatively rare.

In the UK, Mark Rees was a member of Tunbridge Wells council from 1994-1998, according to the UK LGBT Archive wiki. Mr Rees had earlier attempted to be ordained in the Church of England but was denied because he was born female. He pursued his case to the European Court of Human Rights but lost his battle to be recognised as a man.

Tomoya Hosoda transgender Japan
Tomoya Hosoda, 25, changed gender in 2015 and is a councillor in Japan Facebook/Tomoya Hosoda