US citizen sues Japanese government for denying him long-term visa to be with husband

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09/13/2019

US citizen barred from receiving a long-term visa to live with his husband in Japan has sued the country’s government, claiming he is being denied a family life. Andrew High, who met his Japanese husband 15 years ago in the United States and married him there in 2015, legally challenged the Japan government on Wednesday. According to Japanese law, foreign nationals married to Japanese in heterosexual marriages are granted long-term residence status upon arrival, but those in same-sex marriages are not. High is now demanding from the Japanese government those same rights. His husband, Kohei, joined him in a separate suit demanding 11 million yen (£83,000) in damages. The long-term residence status stretches from one to five years, High is on a short-term visa that expires next month. Japan remains deeply conservative and its constitution says marriage is between a man and a woman. There are numerous cities, towns and wards in the country which issue certificates recognising same-sex partnerships, however they lack the legal standing.

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