Hokkaido Sued over Same-Sex Couple's Benefits


Sapporo, June 9 (Jiji Press)--A resident of Sapporo, Hokkaido, northern Japan, who is in a same-sex relationship, filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking damages over the prefectural government's failure to provide spousal benefits to the couple in de facto marriage.

The suit filed against the Hokkaido prefectural government and a mutual aid association for prefectural government workers claims that the failure violates the constitutional guarantee of equality under the law.

In the suit filed with Sapporo District Court, Kaoru Sasaki, a 51-year-old former prefectural government employee, demanded 4.83 million yen in damages.

This is the first lawsuit filed by a same-sex couple in Japan over spousal and other benefits, according to lawyers for Sasaki.

In 2018-2019, Sasaki asked the prefectural government to provide spousal benefits while requesting that the mutual aid association give the couple legal recognition. But they rejected the demands, saying Sasaki has a same-sex partner.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press