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Japan Court Rejects Survivor Benefits to Same-Sex Partner

Japan Court Rejects Survivor Benefits to Same-Sex Partner

   Nagoya, June 4 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese district court on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit challenging a prefectural government's refusal to pay survivor benefits to the partner of a murder victim on the grounds that they are of the same sex.
   Nagoya District Court in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, rejected the suit by Yasuhide Uchiyama, 45, who sought a reversal of the Aichi Prefectural Public Safety Commission's decision not to pay benefits over the murder of his 52-year-old male partner.
   Uchiyama, 45, argues that same-sex partners should be considered as people in circumstances similar to those of people in de facto marital relationships, who are eligible for survivor benefits based on the law for providing compensation to victims of crimes.
   The plaintiff claimed that the law intends for same-sex partners to be included in addition to partners of the opposite sex. Aichi Prefecture argued that the current legal system of the country presupposes a marriage to be between a man and a woman.
   Last September, the Moka branch of Utsunomiya District Court in Tochigi Prefecture, eastern Japan, made a landmark ruling giving legal protection to a person in a same-sex partnership. The ruling was upheld by Tokyo High Court.

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