SAPPORO – Sapporo and Osaka have made lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples in officially recognized partnerships eligible to receive support money if they are victims of crime, marking a rare move among municipalities in Japan, officials from the two cities said recently. A support system for crime victims and their families was introduced in Osaka in April and in Sapporo this month. As same-sex marriage is not recognized in Japan, most people in LGBT partnerships find themselves ineligible to receive social security benefits. The system pays surviving family members ¥300,000 ($2,800) in the event of a death by crime, and ¥100,000 to victims of assault or sexual crimes. It also subsidizes fees for services such as counseling and housekeeping for both victims and their families.