A total of 948 people altered their officially registered gender in Japan in 2019, the highest number since a law was enforced more than a decade ago as part of efforts to protect the rights of transgenders, a judicial survey showed Sunday. The trend reflects widespread public awareness of those with gender identity disorder and the law, experts say. But they also warn that the environment surrounding such people has not improved significantly, citing strict conditions for them to apply to change their sex in family registries. The number of people who altered their gender under the law increased from 868 in 2018 and 903 in 2017, according to data compiled by the Supreme Court. It rose above 500 for the first time in 2010 after gradually increasing from the mere 97 marked in 2004 when the law took effect. The total over the 15 years through 2019 stood at 9,625.