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American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa

108 Comments
By Elaine Lies

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108 Comments

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Personally speaking I hope he wins.

I hope that he has something more to base his case on other than "same sex" marriage? As same sex marriages are not recognized here and sadly I fear that the court is more than likely going to say no.

Another thing that would be nice here, is to see this in the national news!

1 ( +21 / -20 )

Good luck, I wish him success. I’m not hopeful though - Japanese courts are particularly conservative. That said I think it’s still important enough to do it. This is the kind of situation that make many people say ‘that’s not right’. And that’s what drives change.

6 ( +25 / -19 )

Man's problem is always big problem.

-27 ( +3 / -30 )

But Japan's conservative ruling Liberal Democratic Party said in its 2016 manifesto that "same-sex marriage is incompatible with the constitution".

I would suggest that the LDP is becoming more and more incompatible and out of touch with the world!

7 ( +24 / -17 )

No comment!

-21 ( +5 / -26 )

Because the laws of foreign countries don’t apply in Japan.

Did you know the sky is blue too!

And btw, the countries that allow 12 year old to marry consider them consenting. They have a different culture.

Ok... we're talking about Japanese law, not other countries.

The point is you can’t take a legality from a foreign country and force it into Japanese law.

Which no one is trying to do. This suit is happening in the Japanese courts, under Japanese law, with a Japanese judge, regarding a situation in Japan.

4 ( +18 / -14 )

The law needs to be changed, unfortunately a difficult thing to do, but that's where effort needs to be made, rather than seeking some sort of special dispensation.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

But Japan's conservative ruling Liberal Democratic Party said in its 2016 manifesto that "same-sex marriage is incompatible with the constitution".

They are right. So, change the constitution.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Japan remains deeply conservative and the constitution says marriage is between a man and a woman.

Yeah right, what a way to spin this. I mean sure when it comes to marriage, the Japanese is kinda conservative, but when it comes to gay rights in general, Japan has been ahead of the rest of the world for the most part of its history. I mean with the exception for a brief time during the Meiji area, homosexuality was always essentially legal in Japan.

By the way, that especially includes the west, where they used to burn homosexuals at the stake, thanks to religious norms wayback in the day. And in some countries, you could still be executed for homosexuality by way of stoning. I mean should the Japanese government change their standards to meet those peoples demands? As I’m sure a lot of people from those countries would like to that as well.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

Two down rates: here is the Constutution:

Article 24 of the Japanese Constitution states that "Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis."

I don't agree with the constitution. But that is irrelevant to the logical statement that same sex marriage is incompatible with Art 24 of the Japanese Constitution.

Which i why I say: change the constitution.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

“It’s violating their constitutional rights.”

But the Constitution of Japan unambiguously stipulates that marriage is between a man and a woman.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

"It's violating their constitutional rights"

Not true. The constitution here does not recognize homosexual marriage. Only provincial towns do. You need to change the constitution before you are granted a visa based on homosexual marriage

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Japan has no obligation to conform to lack of standards followed by other countries. Thank Goodness.

-3 ( +16 / -19 )

Meiyou

The lawyer knows that. She argues that the other rights, explicit and implicit, to the constitution are being violated. The explicit right to equality before the law recognized in Art 14, if memory serves, which states in English something like the constitution outlaws discrimination against Japanese citizens based on "race, creed, sex, social status or family origin." 

I think you can see that if Jiro can't marry the man of his choice because of his sex )male), then Jiro is being denied his constitutional right to equality before the law.

Simply put, Art 14 and Art 24 (the marriage one) contradict each other, if you believe Jiro has the right to marry a man.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

@burning bush:

You write, "Because the laws of foreign countries don’t apply in Japan."

Actually, with regards to marriage they do, insofar as marriages abroad are recognized in Japan, and that is the point of the lawsuit.

A heterosexual marriage from America is recognized in Japan, whereas a marriage between a gay or lesbian couple is not. And that's why they have a legitimate claim that this is discriminatory.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Not true. The constitution here does not recognize homosexual marriage

How are you able to know the outcome of the trial before it’s happened?

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Japan has no obligation to conform to lack of standards followed by other countries. Thank Goodness.

What fo the standards of other countries have to do with it? No one is suggesting they do. Except you. So it’s a bit of a red herring.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Not true. The constitution here does not recognize homosexual marriage. Only provincial towns do. You need to change the constitution before you are granted a visa based on homosexual marriage

Shibuya is a provincial town? All this time I thought it was one of the hearts of Tokyo.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

How are you able to know the outcome of the trial before it’s happened?

*Japan remains deeply conservative and *the constitution says marriage is between a man and a woman

Are homosexual marriages between a man and a woman? Exactly, which is how we know the constitution does not recognize homosexual marriages.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Are homosexual marriages between a man and a woman? Exactly, which is how we know the constitution does not recognize homosexual marriages.

Which conflicts with the other part of the constitution that prohibits discrimination.

Therefore a trial with a constructional challenge is required to determine which takes precedence, since they conflict.

And remember, this person isn’t suing to get married or to have japan marry homosexuals. This person is suing for a visa.

It’s not cut and dry. Hence anyone claiming it’s not allowed by the constitution is making a claim that literally no one knows, as it hasn’t been previously challenged.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

It’s not cut and dry. Hence anyone claiming it’s not allowed by the constitution is making a claim that literally no one knows, as it hasn’t been previously challenged.

Your analysis is partially correct and I agree a trail needs to happen to see which provision of the constitution takes precedents.

That said, as it sits, homosexual marriage is prohibited by the constitution. Whether that is allowed to continue is a different issue.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

This couple is not asking to be married in Japan; they are asking that their marriage be honored in Japan. It's a huge distinction. As noted in the article there are cases setting legal precedent for same-sex partnerships, so why not this particular case, too?

As an aside, or perhaps it's the main issue, after all: it's time to lose the bigotry.

To those who proclaim it's one country or culture pushing their values on another, well, perhaps it is to a degree. But if you are planting a flag on a hill that says two adults, in love and happy, who happen to be gay or lesbian, can not get married, and can not travel freely, then perhaps your values are indeed flawed.

Every country and culture has its own beauty and its own warts; defending all of it in its entirety benefits no one.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Yet those in support of them will no doubt look at different legal and happy marriages of other countries and say that not only should they be denied a visa, they should be arrested.

All legal marriages of other countries should be accepted for visa purposes or that country should booted from the U.N.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Yet those in support of them will no doubt look at different legal and happy marriages of other countries and say that not only should they be denied a visa, they should be arrested.

Not if both parties consented.

Which would eliminate child marriages - children cannot consent.

But any legal consensual marriage in other countries should be respected.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

For everyone ranting about Article 24 of the constitution its important to note that this is the same document which explicitly forbids, in even clearer language, Japan from maintaining any sort of military capabilities whatsoever.

Just sayin.

Also, the actual intent of Article 24 has nothing to do with preventing homosexual marriage whatsoever. It was drafted after the war as part of a larger package of reforms aimed at ending discrimination against women, and also to prevent the practice of forced marriage.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I hope they win. Constitutions are not set in stone, Abe wants to amend Article 9, so why can't they amend Article 24. Consenting adults should be able to marry.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

It would be easier if all the people supporting this would simply come out and say, "Man, I hate those f*gs." Just be out with your hate and bigotry, because that the end of the day, that's what it comes down to.

@Jcosplay: Is Japan ever wrong in your eyes? Serious question, not sarcasm. Is it possible that on some issues it might be lacking? I'm from the States originally and have lengthy list of things of things that are wrong in my home country. If an "outsider" criticizes it, I owe it to everyone to listen.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

What? This trial is happening under Japanese law. What are you talking about?

Huh? The guy is trying to use an American law to avoid the stipulations of a Japanese law. I can’t believe the Japanese even allowed the case to be brought- it’s ridiculous.

It always annoys me when people go, voluntarily, to a foreign country and set out to change the place they moved to be like the place they just left. Apparently the world revolves around those ever wise foreign people in Japan. I see the same mentality on this website all the time. Some people won’t be satisfied until every country has the exact same laws and customs.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

@Strangerland People talk a lot about consent without really understanding it. If I apply consent to this case, I can say that consent requires being of sound mind. However, as homosexuals are an extreme minority, its easy to say homosexuals are psychologically abnormal and therefore unable to consent to marriage.

I am absolutely NOT saying I agree with that, but its the same sort of subjective reasoning you are mass applying to people you haven't met.

In fact, its worse than that because if you are worried about unconsentual marriages, being granted a visa to live in Japan would provide a route to escape such a marriage.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

With one month left on his visa I think the court can wait him out and deport him. I wonder why he is not capable enough to get a job and a work visa? Good luck.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

People talk a lot about consent without really understanding it.

Good for them. They are irrelevant though, as the term consent has a legal definition.

If I apply consent to this case, I can say that consent requires being of sound mind. However, as homosexuals are an extreme minority, its easy to say homosexuals are psychologically abnormal and therefore unable to consent to marriage.

You could also say that being homosexual is a mental infliction put on with ray guns by aliens from the future of an alternate dimension.

People say lots of stuff. A lot of it is just plain wrong.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Huh? The guy is trying to use an American law to avoid the stipulations of a Japanese law.

No he's not. He's challenging Japanese law, based on Japanese precedent.

It always annoys me when people go, voluntarily, to a foreign country and set out to change the place they moved to be like the place they just left.

Where does it say this is what happened with this guy? Please tell us since you seem to know, what are his specific circumstances? When and why did he come to Japan?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Japan is, in fact, trending towards more LGBT rights. This is the right moment in time for such lawsuits to be brought. Japanese nationals have made similar claims; the fact that this particular issue has a foreigner involved is almost secondary. Don't forget one half of this couple is Japanese. What about his rights in his own country? His right to be married in his own country is being denied. Is that the West pushing its ideals on Japan? This is a Japanese citizen protesting something he feels is unjust.

For those saying this is cultural imperialism, then what do you say to Japanese lawmakers and Japanese plaintiffs in similar lawsuits? There are numerous cases.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/10/05/national/tokyo-adopts-ordinance-banning-discrimination-lgbt-community/#.XXrs6ZMzaqk

Here, a Japanese couple with a similar suit:

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190905/p2a/00m/0na/023000c

If you can't accept two adults, in love, wanting their love to be officially recognized, then you are on the wrong side of history.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The guy is trying to use an American law to avoid the stipulations of a Japanese law.........It always annoys me when people go, voluntarily, to a foreign country and set out to change the place they moved to be like the place they just left.

The guy?? No. THESE guys. One of them is Japanese and he wants his own country's government to accept his marriage so his spouse can get a visa and live with him in his own country.

I say this and it goes for everybody...if you want an international community then you are going to have to accept international norms to a degree. You can't say they were just trying to subvert Japanese law because one of the guy's is American and they married in America. Now if two Japanese guys got married in America and tried to register their marriage here, that would be a different story.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

the term consent has a legal definition.

HAR! It has a MILLION legal definitions!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I say this and it goes for everybody...if you want an international community then you are going to have to accept international norms to a degree.

Not only do I agree, that point you make is how the whole thing works. Y'know, internnational trade, the granting of travel visas.

But here's the thing: gay marriage is not an internaional norm. It is a norm in most of Europe and extenstions therof.

And that's it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

First world problems.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@powderb oh yes, there’s quite a few things that I don’t like about Japan. However, you might have just seen the one or two times were I came out in defense of Japan, when it was coming under scrutiny due to international norms and standards.

But for starters, this whole culture of overwork there. As someone who’s looking to move there, and therefore no longer be an outsider, I am very much worried about that. Also, this issue of paternity leave harassment. As a guy, I’m also very much worried about thatI wasn’t that horrified when wasn’t that horrified when I heard the story of the guy who suing because of what he faced at the workplace after taking a paternity leave.

There are a few others as well, but I figured that’s a good place to start.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Banging his head against a brick wall---go back to USA--much easier.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Japan should stay firm with marriage is between a man and a woman and not cave in to political correctness as other nations. Sometimes it just a way of life man meets woman, woman meets man. It's the natural occurrence of life not man changing nature to his own benefit.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

@Jcosplay: a fair reply.

Let's reframe the entire story:

Instead of "American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa" let's rewrite it this way: "Japanese citizen married to same-sex American partner sues gov't for long-term visa."

This is, in fact, what is happening.

If it were, let's say, two American men suing the Japanese government for full rights in Japan, then, for the sake of discussion, I can go along with the idea that they are pushing their western ideals on Japan. Still disagree, but ok, I can concede to a degree.

But one half of this relationship is Japanese. What of his rights in his own country? What of his rights to marry who he wants and live in his home country?

Those supporting this are also saying: if you are gay and lesbian and happen to fall in love while abroad and want to be married, you are forfeiting your right to return to Japan. This is ok with you? Is this not simply discrimination? The supporters here are saying: if you are gay or lesbian and fall in love with a foreigner, you may not live in Japan as a married couple. That's not the West pushing its ideals on Japan. It's the very definition of discrimination.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Abe wants to revise the constitution. His wife Akie rode in a float in Tokyo's Pride Parade 2 or 3 years ago, along with a wild group of drag queens. Maybe she can talk to her husband and convince him that rather than remilitarizing Japan, allowing gay marriage is better and more meaningful. Also, the constitution uses the term "both sexes" (両性) with regards to marriage, but maybe this can just mean "both of the sexes", whether male and female, male and male, or female and female.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I really hope he wins!

I’m gay and married to an American man and finding and apartment for two men in this country is ridiculously hard.

Most people on this website make their claims about the concept of marriage being between man and woman and all such garbage.

Marriage is a contract, nothing more, nothing less. And a contract can’t discriminate with regards to the gender of the parts.

What really bothers me is that straight couples at work can take an extra couple weeks off of paid holidays from work for the honeymoon after getting married but I can’t because legally, in Japan, I am not married.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

@titin: good luck to you. But being straight married is no picnic. Wait til you have or adopt kids and your husband refuses to have sex because he is exhausted, not in the mood or has a headache, and then decides unilaterally that he will quit his job and let you support the family because he wants to be an at-home father.

Furthermore, I was on a contract when I got married and got 3 unpaid days off and visited Gifu. Think about that.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

allot of people still think that stuff is weird, and are not ready for all that. You have to respect them, even if your forcing it on your own country.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@TheLongTermer: and what of the Japanese half of the relationship? What rights does he have in his own country?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

he can move to the usa

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The majority of Japanese support same sex marriage. A few seconds of google searches will answer that.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hate and bigotry is a losing cause.

the only person hating and biggoting is you. If I say I dont feel right about it, then you hate me for that...who is hating?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Huh? The guy is trying to use an American law to avoid the stipulations of a Japanese law. I can’t believe the Japanese even allowed the case to be brought- it’s ridiculous.

> It always annoys me when people go, voluntarily, to a foreign country and set out to change the place they moved to be like the place they just left. Apparently the world revolves around those ever wise foreign people in Japan. I see the same mentality on this website all the time. Some people won’t be satisfied until every country has the exact same laws and customs.

This isn't at all what he is trying to do. In the case he is not arguing that Japanese Law does not apply to him, he is arguing that the Japanese law which recognizes marriages validly entered into in other jurisdictions as valid in Japan applies to him.

So in the same way that the US recognizes marriages in Japan as valid, Japan should recognize marriages in the US as valid. This does NOT require changing Japanese family law (that which applies to marriages concluded within Japan under Japanese law) at all.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Suzuki said she was hopeful because of recent legal cases, including one in March in which a man from Taiwan was allowed to stay with his Japanese partner.

Based only on the information in the story, this kind of fudge is the best solution for now.

I agree with gay marriage, but it needs a proper debate in Japan, which should be planned and open. It should not be introduced through court rulings. An open and proper debate will signal to people that things have changed and that people's attitudes will have to change. That's how you confront discrimination.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But here's the thing: gay marriage is not an internaional norm. It is a norm in most of Europe and extenstions therof.

And that's it.

Yeah, it has become the norm in those nations where the media (print, TV, movies,...) are controlled by a certain relatively small group of people. And they have worked hard to change the norms and morality in those nations.

Japan does not have to follow...

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

See the government (military) told us that was unnatural back in the day, and was punishable. Now its all normal, I mean, your making me out to be a hater, seems very convenient. Discrimination sucks, living in Japan we get it, but this is apples and oranges.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"If they're separated because he has to leave Japan, it's a violation of their right to have a family life.

Huh? What family? Gotta come with a better argument than that,no? Until you have kids,you're just like boyfriend/ girlfriend or in this case,boyfriend/boyfriend but married.
0 ( +3 / -3 )

"If they're separated because he has to leave Japan, it's a violation of their right to have a family life. But then if his Japanese husband has to leave Japan so they can live together, it's a violation of his right as a Japanese citizen to live in Japan," Suzuki said.

This just doesn't make sense to me.

Why can't he just get and keep a job.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan should stay firm with marriage is between a man and a woman and not cave in to political correctness as other nations. Sometimes it just a way of life man meets woman, woman meets man. It's the natural occurrence of life not man changing nature to his own benefit.

Changing nature? Nope, pretending you are not gay when you are would be trying to change nature.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'd be surprised if they are successful. I recall a story where an African man who had overstayed his visa by many years and had gotten married to a Japanese lady, was denied a new visa and deported by the courts, on the basis that she wasn't really dependent on him as they didn't have children......

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Trump is trying to get good trade deals and exporting the best of America, we dont need to export "looking for a check" worst of America, just because you dont agree with the culture. Anyway, if he knew how Japan really was, instead of the silly cute Japan (racist view) that most gaijin have, he would of stayed in the US.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

for comparison I'm a US citizen have been in Japan since the 1970s had successful career paid all taxes, worked at JAL, 2 Hollywood studios, executive recruiter of Japanese since 1990. My common law Japanese wife of 20 years is a career midwife gynecology head nurse, we have three young Japanese American kids, but immigration will only give me a 3 year extendable visa. I've met foreigners in the 20's first time here who get 5 year visas. Whacko logic

2 ( +3 / -1 )

macv

so why not marry and get the permanent resident visa. What am I missing?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ Reckless

your husband refuses to have sex because he is exhausted, not in the mood or has a headache

Is that supposed to be a problem ? Isn't sex something about sharing not taking ?

Just in case you do not know : gay are not some kind of rabbit which copulate day in and day out.

@ TheLongTermer

They [the Japanese] have phobias about the opposite sex, wont date or get married, so why the need to promote more sterilization?

Recognizing same sex marriage isn't promoting more sterilization. And "the Japanese" don't have phobia about the opposite sex. Some can have it and that doesn't mean they will go for same sex marriage. And in the event that some choose to take a same sex marriage, there is chance that the thought of building a family is part of the motivation. It is easier to raise a child as two than as one.

@pacificwest

Clearly marriage is much more than just a contract, like a tenancy agreement.

How is that incompatible with the fact than the spouse are of the same sex. Unless you consider there is a landlord and a tenant in the marriage.

Is it really needed to rewrite the Constitution ? Thanks to point 2, there is space for interpretation if they want to.

第二十四条

婚姻は、両性の合意のみに基いて成立し、夫婦が同等の権利を有することを基本として、相互の協力により、維持されなければならない。

配偶者の選択、財産権、相続、住居の選定、離婚並びに婚姻及び家族に関するその他の事項に関しては、法律は、個人の尊厳と両性の本質的平等に立脚して、制定されなければならない。

===== Article 24. Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both one's nature and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of married individuals (be them husband or spouse) as a basis.

(2) With regard to choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of domicile, divorce and other matters pertaining to marriage and the family, laws shall be enacted from the standpoint of individual dignity and the essential equality of the sexes.

Or they can just go from 婚姻 in the Constitution to 結婚 in the law. Marriage definition evolved a lot with time, it is not like this kind of change is a big deal in everybody life. The only affected will be homosexual couple which will be able to get married exactly as if they were in a heterosexual couple. People will not be forced to be married with someone they do not want to.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Was wondering the same, Zichi-san.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Iradickle, “Why can't he just get and keep a job.”

And what’s your suggestion for when he is old enough to retire or if he becomes disabled and unable to work before retirement age?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And in the event that some choose to take a same sex marriage, there is chance that the thought of building a family is part of the motivation. It is easier to raise a child as two than as one.

bizarre. I dont think that would go down so well in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What really bothers me is that straight couples at work can take an extra couple weeks off of paid holidays from work for the honeymoon after getting married but I can’t because legally, in Japan, I am not married.

How many times do you expect to take a honeymoon? Sorry but this sounds like a lame excuse, as many newlyweds here dont take honeymoons either!

Japanese can take a day to a week off for funerals too, and yet I can't get a day off when a family member in the states dies. Do I get mad about it? No, it's a choice you made and should be aware of when you choose to make the step and get married like you did.

I’m gay and married to an American man and finding and apartment for two men in this country is ridiculously hard.

You just have to be looking in the strangest places, but I will bet any money that the problem isnt your relationship, its who you have the relationship with, a foreigner, that makes it hard for you to find an apartment.

There are gay men and women living together all over this country. Time to consider there is a different reason! Hell I have gay friends down here who have foreign spouses and on occasion I have heard of trouble, but not with those that are both Japanese!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is reassuring to see that many of the commentators here are not swallowing the propaganda line of the "liberal" Western media...Here's a question for those who think that marriage can be defined any old which way--just to suit themselves and/or a group with a lot of political and cultural clout: Should Japan grant visas to the "spouses" of polygamists? What about so-called "bisexuals"? If a Japanese woman has both a Bolivian husband and a lesbian "wife" from Mongolia, should she be able to secure residence visas for both of them?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

well its in the constitution, good luck..bro.

Abe may even hire you cuz he hasn't succeeded

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

so why not marry and get the permanent resident visa. What am I missing?

@zichi. Being married to a Japanese does not confer a permanent residence visa, and it's nonsense to think it does. I don't have it. Like macv I have to keep applying for a renewal of my spouse visa. No explanation has ever been given to me as to why I can't have PR.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

luddite

so why not marry and get the permanent resident visa. What am I missing?

@zichi. Being married to a Japanese does not confer a permanent residence visa, and it's nonsense to think it does. I don't have it. Like macv I have to keep applying for a renewal of my spouse visa. No explanation has ever been given to me as to why

ok. Came here in the mid 90’s and had my PR by 2000?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Because the laws of foreign countries don’t apply in Japan.

They do when it suites Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Luddite, “Like macv I have to keep applying for a renewal of my spouse visa. No explanation has ever been given to me as to why I can't have PR.”

Are you saying you applied for permanent residency and it was rejected without explanation? Or have you never applied?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When I applied for my PR I was an artist and not working in a job. I had exhibitions and asked some important people to give me letters of introduction, always good here. Put everything into a folder and presented with my application.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

But here's the thing: gay marriage is not an internaional norm.

I suppose that depends on how you want to define it. I was defining it as a norm abroad, in countries that Japan is having international dealings and agreements with. You are defining is as THE most common norm among individual countries. I am going to have to refute your definition for purposes of international dealings. Its not acceptance, freedom and tolerance but rather enforcement of conformity. Its two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner by majority vote.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Educator60,

You can apply for permanent after 10 years. Working visas can also be extended to 3 years.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

so why not marry and get the permanent resident visa. What am I missing?

@zichi. Being married to a Japanese does not confer a permanent residence visa, and it's nonsense to think it does. I don't have it. Like macv I have to keep applying for a renewal of my spouse visa. No explanation has ever been given to me as to why I can't have PR.

@Eductor60. Maybe it is because you and macv are a successful people. The Japanese immigration department are uncomfortable with too many successful foreigners in Japan who they feel that they cannot control.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The only thing that should be taken in to consideration in this case is whether or not the marriage was a scheme to obtain a permanent visa card, the fact that it's a same sex marriage is completely irrelevant.

If the marriage was not a scheme, and it certainly doesn't look that way, that this man must be given a permanent visa card.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Are you saying you applied for permanent residency and it was rejected without explanation? Or have you never applied?

Rejected.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan remains deeply conservative 

I would say, "deeply indifferent". Zero empathy for anyone who isn't a grey-haired Japanese man from an important family.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Luddite, “Like macv I have to keep applying for a renewal of my spouse visa. No explanation has ever been given to me as to why I can't have PR.”

I wonder what country you originally come from, as it evidently does make a huge difference. I know guys from the PI who have been here over 40 years and they STILL have to renew their spouse visa and folks from the US who literally had immigration give them the PR paperwork instead of the renewal paperwork after 6 years.

Also, one thing they DO look at is if you have children or not as well. That came directly from an immigration officer who once asked. "If you dont have kids, why did you get married in the first place?" Like they thought it would be a fake marriage!

You can apply for permanent after 10 years. Working visas can also be extended to 3 years.

You can apply for the visa before 10 years, and work visas are "new" here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are you saying you applied for permanent residency and it was rejected without explanation? Or have you never applied?

I think its done, like everything else in Japan, on a case by case basis. Being divorced remarried unemployed, changing jobs...probably a deny stamp,

young likeable, right race, time of day etc....approval stamp

I remember when I was younger, and at the disgust stage of my Japan experience/marriage etc, I went down for a new visa, and was like "I dont care if you stamp it or not, I dont like it here" look on my face. The immi lady looked at me and quickly stamped me a 3 year extension with a smirk

The can sense desperation and dont like it; they like it if your miserable like them

0 ( +1 / -1 )

 I know guys from the PI who have been here over 40 years and they STILL have to renew their spouse visa and folks from the US who literally had immigration give them the PR paperwork instead of the renewal paperwork after 6 years.

seen that also. Some PI people have Japanese ancestry so they get a family visa easy. Others have to struggle and beg for it. Many others marry a Japanese, get the PR, then divorce and make their way working in the snacks or ryojin homes. Very tough people and respect I give.. Ive seen others marry some old guy in the inaka and just suffer. Really heart breaking situation. I hope the people of PI can someday fix their country and not have to be slaves to the world.

I dont see the big appeal with Japan, but if your from a country where you can get kidnapped and held for ransom, guess its better than that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

so why not marry and get the permanent resident visa. What am I missing?

Then to get PR, you must live all the time in Japan for a number of years. You are absent 6 months (a job stint abroad), they can even cancel PR if you had it. Whenever you are one day without a J-visa, you restart application at zero. So it's a vicious circle as you can't work all the time in Japan -due to lack of PR, so you take a job based abroad and then they say "you were not resident here, you can't have that PR ".

 No explanation has ever been given to me as to why I can't have PR.

A friend got rejected 6 times over 30 years. She asked "why" and were told "you and your spouse don't have a stable career". Hard working modest blue collars. They had a relatively low income but steady, never any spat with law, not even a parking ticket. The real reason was their social background. She is 'Asian' and he, born in Nishinari-ku (you know that prejudice that no longer exists). The system is very subjective and they want to keep this way. That allows them to discriminate applicants the way they like about origins, lifestyle....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The real reason was their social background. She is 'Asian' and he, born in Nishinari-ku (you know that prejudice that no longer exists). The system is very subjective and they want to keep this way. That allows them to discriminate applicants the way they like about origins, lifestyle....

so they discriminated against him because he was "buraku"? thanks for that share, thats interesting. many japanese wave their hand at me..."sore wa nai, nai!" they tell me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They can sense desperation and dont like it; they like it if your miserable like them

And that's what I don't like.People trying to give you their negative energy because they're not happy with their lives. Keep it moving. I can be be negative by myself,I don't need your help thank you.

>

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An Immigration Officer, although following guidance procedures has total discretion.

You could have lived in Japan one year or thirty years, but if the officer has that discretion.

It all depends who you get on the day.

If have dealt with all types of officer, from decent, polite, educated to disgusting, rude, and there is no really nice way of saying it "thick".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

KhuniriSep. 13 01:59 pm JST

It is reassuring to see that many of the commentators here are not swallowing the propaganda line of the "liberal" Western media...

How is wanting to marry your partner "propaganda"?

Also, do you know the term "hypocritcal"? I have noted that people who complain about the "liberal media" are the same ones shouting "free speech" when their fave right-wing rag gets criticized.

Here's a question for those who think that marriage can be defined any old which way--just to suit themselves and/or a group with a lot of political and cultural clout: Should Japan grant visas to the "spouses" of polygamists?

That is like asking "Should Japan grant a visa to a man who wants to marry a carrot?"

This is not a thing that happens.

This has nothing to do with two adults who are fully capable of consent wanting to marry.

That makes the comparison nonsensical.

What about so-called "bisexuals"? If a Japanese woman has both a Bolivian husband and a lesbian "wife" from Mongolia, should she be able to secure residence visas for both of them?

Since you can't marry two people, no. Secondly, I don't think you know what "lesbian" means, if you think a lesbian would be in a poly triad with a man.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Good luck to this gentleman and his husband in their effort for equality under the law.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

On Valentine's Day, 13 same-sex couples filed suits in at least four Japanese cities, saying the government was violating their constitutional rights to equal treatment.

How about the constitutional rights of this country? Japan remains deeply conservative and the constitution says marriage is between a man and a woman. Again, this is about a difference in CULTURES. Why does an individual '(s) of one country insist on changing a culture of another country when they themselves don't want to change their culture like, i.g. GUN CONTROL among other things. Instead of suing the government for standing firm on its LEGAL LAWS, even, asking for 11 million yen to and insist on changing a country's constitution, how about being humble and persuasive, like persuasive enough like the Southeast Asian transgender woman. Or maybe there is something that raises the concern that you already know about. If you want to imply on something, be considerate!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There appear to be many confused contributors here...What, for example, are "international norms"? Should Japan allow me to own three rifles and a pistol because in America such is permitted by law? Again, if Islam allows me to have four wives, why can't their status be recognized in Japan? I am not talking about hypothetical lunatics who want to marry a carrot. I am talking about real people who demand (or may demand) that Japan acknowledge their particular predilections, whatever the law says...Japanese immigration policy is, by its own admission, case-by-case. When one applies for permanent residence or Japanese citizenship, one is clearly informed that if the answer is "no," the authorities are under no obligation to give a reason or reasons. Is that "fair"? Well, when I say 結構です to a door-to-door salesman, I need say no more. No non-citizen has the "right" to live in Japan. Is it "compassionate"? Yes, to all those millions of people who don't want their country to follow the chaotic catastrophes that America and much of Europe are becoming.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

First world problems.

Indeed. Because in large parts of the third world they would be imprisoned or even executed.

But that doesn't mean that it is in anyway just that a Japanese citizen should have his right to live with his spouse in Japan denied.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, to all those millions of people who don't want their country to follow the chaotic catastrophes that America and much of Europe are becoming.

Khunri - allowing a Japanese citizen to live with his spouse is not a "chaotic catastrophe". And quite frankly, living in Europe is pretty much the best place to live on earth - it's as close to winning they lottery of birth as you can get.

And in twenty or thirty year's time will Japan allow gay marriage? Almost certainly yes, if not much sooner, so why not just allow it now and save all those tortured years of debate which will end up with equal marriage anyway?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

KhuniriSep. 14 03:13 pm JST

There appear to be many confused contributors here...What, for example, are "international norms"

I think you know what it means and are just pretending you don't understand so that you can argue the opposite. The fact is, same sex marriage is quickly becoming the norm. Japan will follow that, though it will do so in its own time frame, which will be decided by its people - just as it happened in every other country.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ScepticalSep. 14 01:41 pm JST

On Valentine's Day, 13 same-sex couples filed suits in at least four Japanese cities, saying the government was violating their constitutional rights to equal treatment.

How about the constitutional rights of this country? Japan remains deeply conservative and the constitution says marriage is between a man and a woman. Again, this is about a difference in CULTURES. Why does an individual '(s) of one country insist on changing a culture of another country when they themselves don't want to change their culture like, i.g. GUN CONTROL among other things. Instead of suing the government for standing firm on its LEGAL LAWS, even, asking for 11 million yen to and insist on changing a country's constitution, how about being humble and persuasive, like persuasive enough like the Southeast Asian transgender woman. Or maybe there is something that raises the concern that you already know about. If you want to imply on something, be considerate!

It looks like you didn't notice that the people suing for same-sex marraige in Japan are, in fact, Japanese.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There’s a confusion here between what is moral and what is legal. To use a moral reason to deny one US Citizen the rights a different US citizen would have in the same circumstance is illegal because it violates existing agreements between the two countries since the wording of such agreements do not have any specific clauses allowing for the exceptions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That said, as it sits, homosexual marriage is prohibited by the constitution.

No, it is not prohibited, and it is a typical anachronism to think so In fact, when the Constitution was written, it was simply inconceivable that marriage could happen between same-sex partners. In 2019, the mores have changed in all our democracies, and the Constitution of Japan certainly has yet to adapt to the new freedoms and social rights of our time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Should Japan grant visas to the "spouses" of polygamists?

Everyone should if everyone is consenting. That is very apples and apples. These two are clearly consenting. If those three or more are consenting, the reasonable thing to do is let it go. Real freedom means people are going to do things they want that don't hurt one another even if you don't like it. Even if just the visuals give you a headache.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan remains deeply conservative and the constitution says marriage is between a man and a woman.

Yes. Man and woman. Stand your ground Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Slickdrifter,

It looks like you didn't notice that the people suing for same-sex marraige in Japan are, in fact, Japanese.

In fact, a recent poll of 6,000 households showed 70% of the people surveyed were in favour of same-sex marriage - so hey, it looks like I I agree with “stand your ground, Japan.” :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@girl_in_tokyo

Yes, I am fully aware of the surveying in Japan with woman and the elderly. I understand the majority want same sex marriages. I may have read something in detail in which survey you maybe referring too sometime ago. Many Japanese and Non-Japanese citizens approve of same sex marriages and progression towards same sex marriages. I am not blind. I can see momentum and movement towards same sex marriages and gay rights gaining major traction. However, my belief is slightly different with same sex marriages. Not that I carry any animosity or disdain for homosexuality. I do not. I just think inline with the Liberal Democratic Party government with incompatibility.

But Japan's conservative ruling Liberal Democratic Party said in its 2016 manifesto that "same-sex marriage is incompatible with the constitution".

I agreed back in 2016 and I agree with this assessment in 2019.-- incompatible with the constitution".

So, diving into this a bit. (surveys)- There is always the opposite spectrum to a sensitive topic.

The national level, LDP lawmakers who stand behind the traditional form of family consisting of a man, a woman and their children are seen as the main obstacle in passing legislation to approve gay marriages.

In another survey by Nihon Yoron Chōsa-ka, conducted on 1st and 2nd of March 2014, 42.3% of Japanese supported same-sex marriage, while 52.4% opposed it. Another poll conducted by FNN in April 2015 showed that 59% supported the same-sex partnership certificate law proposed in Shibuya and 53% supported same-sex marriage.

I would say in Japan. I feel it would be a pretty even split if we polled Nationally with all Japanese citizens in Japan. Or those able to vote in elections. or those of legal age.

I oppose.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Purpose of marriage has always been to raise a family.

Pleasure or getting a visa is not into the deal.

Call it a contract between people. Or rights to give an individual some other rights but don't call it marriage as the intent isn't what it has been from the dawn of mankind.

I support homosexual rights if not trying to distort natural truths, need to be two of different sex to make a baby and not buying it (so disgusting this last fact).

You can't imagine all the headaches such genealogical new links are going to bring.

I know also it will happen, if majority says so. Not a problem to adapt.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Purpose of marriage has always been to raise a family.

No, that's not correct, plenty of people have gotten married with no intention of raising a family.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Purpose of marriage has always been to raise a family.

That is one of many purposes. Also there is financial stability, physical security, having someone to rely on, an expression of faithfulness, and among the nobility, a method of keeping peace and forging alliances. And I doubt I got everything.

Even some straight couples just can't make children. And making children was never a requirement for a marriage visa or marriage itself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, that's not correct, plenty of people have gotten married with no intention of raising a family.

The only reason you get special privileges and tax breaks with marriage is because governments want to incentive having children aka future taxpayers. People who enter childless marriages don't deserve special treatment compared to single people. And if you don't believe that to be the case, then explain why it's okay to discriminate against people that are single.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The only reason you get special privileges and tax breaks with marriage is because governments want to incentive having children 

No, I don’t believe that’s true. Where has that been stated by the government? Or where have the people stated that as an expectation?

People here make so many statements of things they assume, But clearly have not bothered to confirm.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

you don't believe that to be the case, then explain why it's okay to discriminate against people that are single.

It’s up to you to support your assumption, not for me to disprove it. You’ve provided literally nothing to support your claim, why would I spend time disproving a throw away comment?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SlickdrifterSep.

I oppose.

If you say you are against same-sex marriage, then you are saying you are a bigot. That is just a fact, since there is no reason at all to be against two consenting adults getting married unless you have a prejudice against their specific type of relationship.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm all for acceptance and modernisms but since when was it considered 'normal' for a man to get married to another man? Since when was it considered normal for two men to raise a child?

If there are gay relationships then good luck to them and they receive no abuse or threat from me. But don't force it on the rest of the population to pretend it is normal.

Liberalism has taken it too far. In my opinion no child receives a normal upbringing with two fathers. But that's my opinion.

This guy's longterm visa application failed because of his bankrupt business history.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Always amazed at how fired up some people get over something that simply isn't any of their business.

If Fred marries John.... it has no effect on me. Zip. Nada. None.

Why should I try and force someone else to live by the moral standards that I decide?

And why should a government... any government?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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