Tokyo Court Backs Foreign Same-Sex Partner's Long-Term Stay


Tokyo, Sept. 30 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo District Court ruled Friday that a foreigner in a same-sex marriage with a Japanese national should be granted a "designated activities" visa allowing long-term stay.

The ruling, believed to be the first of its kind in Japan, was issued in a lawsuit filed by a U.S. man and his Japanese partner demanding that the Japanese government pay a total of 11 million yen in damages for unconstitutionally not granting a long-term resident status.

According to the ruling, the couple married in the United States in 2015 and the U.S. partner filed an application with the immigration office in Tokyo for changing his status of residence to a long-term one in 2018 after finding it difficult to renew a resident visa he had then. But it was rejected.

Presiding Judge Yoshitaka Ichihara ruled against granting the long-term resident status on the grounds that the U.S. man had not yet sufficiently taken hold in Japan.

But Ichihara took issue with the Justice Ministry's practice of not issuing designated activities status visas to foreigners in same-sex marriages with Japanese nationals while doing so to foreigners whose same-sex partners are also from other counties and have Japanese resident visas.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press