Court orders woman to pay compensation to man for sleeping with his wife

A rare court ruling in Japan has ordered a woman to pay compensation to a man whose wife she had sex with.

The Tokyo District Court told the 37-year-old woman she must pay 110,000 yen (£725.81) to the 39-year-old husband, who filed a lawsuit against his wife’s lover.

According to Asahi, the man accused the woman of engaging in sexual conduct with his wife after becoming acquainted with her through the internet.

Extramarital sex between same-sex partners is recognised as infidelity under Japanese law, but the lover contended that their affair didn’t constitute infidelity because it didn’t wreck the husband and wife’s marriage.

However, the courts saw it differently.

In a ruling dated 16 February, the court determined that any act that undermines the peace in a marriage constitutes infidelity, not to mention extramarital sex with a spouse.

The ruling reflects the fact that Japanese courts are slowly moving to recognise that adultery is not limited to acts between members of the opposite sex.

In an earlier case from March last year, the Tokyo High Court ordered a woman to pay compensation to her same-sex partner for engaging in adultery, saying a same-sex union should be treated equivalent to marriage.

The women in question had lived together for approximately seven years, obtained a marriage certificate in the US and made plans to raise children together.

When the relationship ended one woman began dating a trans woman, with whom she had a child. This prompted the ex to sue her former partner on the grounds that she had betrayed the expectations of their relationship.

The judge ordered the accused to pay the complainant damages of 1.1 million yen (£7265.18).

“It was a relationship equivalent to that in which a man and woman come together to lead their lives in cooperation as a married couple,” judge Hitomi Akiyoshi said.

“A same-sex couple is an agreement between two people, and on that basis, it can be said that it bears the same obligations to fidelity that a legally married couple of opposite genders undertakes.”