Woman sues Hokkaido government for not giving benefits to same-sex couples

Japan Times -- Jun 09
SAPPORO – A woman in a same-sex relationship filed a damages suit on Wednesday against her former employer the Hokkaido government and a mutual aid association seeking ¥4.8 million ($43,000) for being denied spousal benefits.

Kaoru Sasaki, 51, filed the lawsuit with the Sapporo District Court, arguing that not paying family benefits to same-sex couples violates the guarantee of equality under the Constitution.

According to the suit, Sasaki applied for spousal benefits in July 2018 and April 2019, while still a prefectural employee, submitting a document recognizing her partnership issued by the Sapporo city government.

But the Hokkaido government and the aid association for prefectural employees rejected the application, saying the benefits were only available to heterosexual couples. - Japan Times