A US gay man who married his Japanese partner sued the Japanese government on Thursday demanding it grants him long-term resident status.
US national Andrew High and his Japanese partner Kohei reside together in Tokyo and are also seeking 11 million yen ($102,000) in damages in the suit filed with the Tokyo District Court, claiming the government’s repeated denial of a long-term visa has impinged on the couple’s freedom to live as a family, Kyodo News Agency reported.
According to Japanese law, foreign nationals married to Japanese in heterosexual marriages are granted long-term residence status upon arrival in Japan, but those in same-sex marriages are not.
According to suit, couple have been together for 15 years and married in 2015, after same-sex marriage has been legal by the US Supreme Court across all 50 states.
He currently resides in Japan on a temporary visa and argues he could face deportation if the Japanese government refuses to renew it.
The Immigration Services Agency of Japan said it will respond appropriately after examining the details of the suit.
Earlier this year, a Taiwanese man became the first foreign gay partner of a Japanese citizen to be granted special resident status by the Justice Ministry, following the revocation of a deportation order for overstaying his visa.