Japan cancels deportation of gay Taiwanese man

Japan has cancelled plans to deport a gay Taiwanese man in a long-term relationship.

Lawyers representing the man told local media the move represents progress towards legal protection for same-sex couples in the country.

One lawyer said: “It’s the first time special permission to stay in the country has been given to a foreign gay partner of a Japanese citizen.”

The ministry has denied its decision was based on the man’s sexuality.

The Taiwanese man, in his 40s, has lived in the country for around 25 years with his Japanese partner, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.

He came to Japan on a one-year student visa in 1992 and reentered the country in 1993 to prepare for a language test, shortly after which he started a relationship with his partner, his defence lawyers said.

In June 2016, his illegal residency was discovered and deportation was ordered.

The next year, the man filed a petition with the Tokyo District Court to revoke the deportation.

Participants hold placards and banners during the Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2015 parade (TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

“If we could have married legally, our lives could have changed,” he told local media Friday, according to the Tokyo Shimbun.

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