Court rejects long-stay visa for gay U.S. man married to Japanese

A Japanese court on Friday upheld the denial of a long-term residence visa to an American man who married his same-sex Japanese partner in the United States.
The Tokyo District Court also rejected damages of 1.1 million yen sought by the U.S. national, Andrew High, and his Japanese partner, Kohei, who claimed the denial of the visa impinged on their freedom to live as a family. The Japanese man has requested his family name be withheld.
The two married in 2015, and High has applied unsuccessfully for a Japanese long-term visa five times since 2018. He currently resides in Japan on a temporary visa.
The Immigration Services Agency of Japan said the long-term resident status based on marriage to a Japanese national is not granted to same-sex couples.
The couple has been seeking resident status based on their long-term relationship, which began nearly 18 years ago, according to lawyers representing the couple.
In 2019, a Taiwanese man became the first foreign same-sex 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.

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