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The Japanese governmentFo67ZMSd#n+(VoM&Z8dUFrYJZsR=MoZHzSM-VV*GvDQtO99#@o this week granted a long-term visa to a South Asian transgender woman.

It is believed to be the first transgender person to receoSM0zfa05g+cOUcrh1dunn1n*nsTiqTYB72IOdkt-gqaW8xPZ*ive special permission to stay in the country, according to the Japan Times.

The 58-year-old was granted a one-year long-term resident visa. She first came to Japan in 1981X$LjNA8([email protected](q8%W*l!2 under an entertainer visa.

She could not return to her home country because she faced abuse because of her gender 3qK+HxHY2#v!Jv9hLOFu5giIZzB_OrSCB3rqCvj%mQ2wo)&w53identity, the Japan Times reports.

In 2002 she met her current partner. The pair reEISKV44Oq^mi^25b+^ddN*QES47OSUQ4j-&-30dZgA9x_EdTk(gistered their relationship in 2016.

“Her long-term relationship with a Japanese man may have been a decisive factor the Justice Ministry took into consideration while reviewing the case,” said M[email protected]&ZlQ-#rW!JZ#JX)uglyWpHG5tz%e-bBDAgXu7ZVl$iho Kumazawa, a lawyer representing the woman, at a news conference in Tokyo on Monday.

“I need to repay the kindness I’ve been given (by Japan) and I’ll do my best to keep my promise I gave when I was granted the visa” the woman, who refused to give her name or nationality, said during Monday’s news conference.

LGBTI rights in Japan

Japan is the only member of the G7 bloc of most-developed nations that does noa)7VXwjxStTtPT&_i#y^r_JGqq#8xtC!&fEbh+G(edoK$$4KkMt recognize same-sex marriage.

National laws do not protect LGBTI people from discrimination. The country’s laws also reqCynd#iiMPfU$Aw0r!4MX9beC8yCZ3MAmF#RqtMJsGLs3$$(0J_uire transgender citizens to undergo sterilization in order to officially change gender.

But, increasing numbers of local administrations ar_Z*[email protected]&)3^wFp1O9rI*Y+o2W$)qjopT%2e recognizing same-sex couples with partnership certificates which give very limited recognition and rights.

And, 13 same-sex couples are taking the government to court to recognize thF4mT$HwgRZNNRBDAz7OOyKbBfC6xFSQe9p##ELi46A4Ci5m)&7eir relationships.

In March this year, Japan granted special permission to a gay Taiwanese man to stay in Japa03NslXRMlI8DLV$Q#I%KxmOew0cwPVUVjiC(eo2vKZD)3v&I&En with his partner.

TheEQ4fWFSDxJinmwkZ&8w-_5YRmiaKPbwQCrHuYH5ZCITEkOb)jT man, who is in his 40s, lived with his partner in Japan for 25 years.

He illegally overstayed his visa. However, in a rare move by the government, his deportation ordegPfAVyYx2ENkT=OfgCIM4CF$E8D5WmPw1TzS%70=Plv$ona!H5r was revoked and a special residency status was granted.

And, in July, it was announced that Japan last year granted an LGB@VxlB)z+51CiYWKiyrHgS7hS(UsPC*j(*1AXmpfa5)GyYhZQYsTI refugee asylum last year as they were at risk due to their sexuality in their country of origin.

It was the first known case of Japan granting asylum bas6853OgT^L&CZI)e$%a)IMfuT6xrhCX9LTBdHSd_qu&Hnn-IE=fed on sexual orientation.

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