A Japanese man has become the first person in a same-sex relationship to file for surviving family benefits after his partner of more than 20 years was killed.
Japanese law stipulates that benefits should be paid to the surviving partner of an innocent victim of crime, including those in de-facto relationships.
The 41-year-old cleaner from Nagoya lost his partner after he was stabbed to death in 2014.
According to the man's lawyer, the deceased partner had managed the couple’s finances, ran their household and cared for his partner’s mother.
However, the National Police Agency is arguing that the man should not receive benefits as they were not legally married, according to the Japan Times.
The Agency has cited Article 24 of the country’s Constitution that says "marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes".
The cleaner's lawyer says he “should be able to receive the benefits as he had a de-facto marriage with his partner and is suffering from massive mental and economic losses.”
While same-sex marriage is not legal in Japan, individual cities - such as Iga and Sapporo - have been moving to recognise gay partnerships.
The Shibuya and Setagaya wards in Tokyo also offer certificates to same-sex couples.