Japan's immigration authorities have retracted a deportation order for a gay Taiwanese man who overstayed his visa. His lawyers say this is likely the first case of its kind in Japan.
The man, who is in his 40s, was arrested 3 years ago and faced deportation. He has been living with his same-sex partner in Japan for 25 years.
He filed a lawsuit at the Tokyo District Court to have the order nullified, arguing that he should be granted resident status because he was in a long term relationship.
The lawyers say the court proposed last December that the government cancel the order.
They say the government retracted the order on March 15 and issued the man a special permit to remain in the country.
The defense team says when foreign nationals marry their heterosexual Japanese partners, they are granted resident status with very few exceptions.
The Taiwanese man says he and his partner had to keep their relationship secret.
The Justice Ministry's Immigration Bureau said it reached the decision by taking into account the man's behavior and other factors, not particularly the nature of his relationship.