TOKYO (Reuters) – A US man whose marriage to his legally recognized Japanese husband in his country invoked the Japanese government on Wednesday to have the same right to wait for a heterosexual couple, saying he was denied family life.
According to Japanese law, foreign nationals married to Japanese in heterosexual marriages are given long-term residence status when they arrive in Japan, but they are not in same-sex marriages.
While almost two dozen Japanese cities, towns and wards issue certificates that recognize same-sex partnerships, they do not have a legal standing.
Japan is still very conservative and the constitution says that marriage is between man and woman.
A US citizen, Andrew High, who met his Japanese husband 15 years ago in the United States, and married in 2015, called on the government to acquire the same long-term residency rights as a heterosexual foreign spouse.
Her husband, Kohei, who does not want to reveal his last career or career, went into a particular suit demanding 11 million (($ 102,000) in damages, his lawyer, Masako Suzuki, told Reuters.
“He is also in breach of their constitutional rights and international convention, because family life is a violation of their right,” said Suzuki.
The long-term residence status extends to five years. High is going on a short-term visa which will expire next month.
Former US software developer, he is a resident of Japan with Kohei and since 2009. He established his own company in Japan at one time and received a visa “business manager”, but lost the visa that when the company entered financial difficulties.
He then applied for a long-term residence visa granted under special circumstances but was refused five times.
“If they are not separated because it must leave Japan, it is a violation of their right to have a family life. But then if a Japanese man has to leave Japan so they can live together, it is a violation of his right as a Japanese citizen living in Japan, ”said Suzuki.
The Ministry of Justice official said that they had not yet received full details of the case and could not comment.
Suzuki said she was optimistic about recent legal cases, including one in March where a man from Taiwan was allowed to stay with his Japanese partner. Last month, a transsexual woman of South East Asia was allowed to stay.
Japan's laws on LGBT rights are quite liberal compared to those in many Asian countries, although many LGBT people still include their sexuality.
But Japanese conservative control, the Liberal Democrats, said in its proclamation in 2016 that “same-sex marriage does not fit with the constitution”.
On Valentine's Day, 13 same-sex couples put costumes into at least four Japanese cities, saying the government was infringing their constitutional rights on equal treatment.
Reporting by Elaine Lies; Edited by Robert Birsel
. t) Judicial Process / Court Cases / Court Decisions (t) Government / Politics (t) United States Lesbian / Gay / Bisexual / Transsexual (t)