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The Japanese government this week granted a long-term=v#Dym64XR_mlQIjapoZL#)MRl#EMVkLjSCEoMg689qQMUtW=L visa to a South Asian transgender woman.

It is be1+PnawZj+#O3YG1)PoC1=HThoDjp^ftsd+79O7d)P4r$4V#Vtplieved to be the first transgender person to receive special permission to stay in the country, according to the Japan Times.

The 58-year-old was granted a one-yeO@mAVUrOZZOWaC0ocUY$6mPgDaOBhz!_YMgJtJID#l*3(4=h@8ar long-term resident visa. She first came to Japan in 1981 under an entertainer visa.

She could not return to her home country because she faced abuse b4+H0c+HqejaRGrP3^!+ow7aB1rf&r20U5QXIS3I9sEt4A-A5P9ecause of her gender identity, the Japan Times reports.

In 2002 she met her cunL6@ju%EqFc@ie0Uw!x+50wwE2%iiZng)Cp*7gl^QFPPxG*4sWrrent partner. The pair registered 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,” s+34LF*gjWcpIdmLk4&wXtu3@zFp&MC0TV%UD&RkGks_YdiJy#iaid Miho 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 bxAN!PzuPl71*Tzx&=^xFo42@fI^eQ8uT%XfpSq)#5B0cmto87floc of most-developed nations that does not recognize same-sex marriage.

National laws do not protect LGBTI people from discrimination. The country’s laws also require transgender citizens to unde(sjgy*X0-d4^aG$3dX!Bl)2$gL=_6s9#KCyWIW4YU&NX1Im*rHrgo sterilization in order to officially change gender.

But, increasing numbers of local administrations are recognizing same-sex couples with partnership certificates which givedkK$XouS)#S^HGh_P8$0@ZCpYpf6PrkEJgj+zN^)AXyfaNX#og very limited recognition and rights.

And, 13 same-sex couples are taking the government to court to recognize their relationgXUXbGDWdxlijbm&3eRGAprqEdMJJHk4z+hlx_44TlaUa@MBVpships.

In MarchQteW8Kq8$+&RGJ@fUqL!yNb564i7^CZP^2)@g5iBkd&tEnM&C3 this year, Japan granted special permission to a gay Taiwanese man to stay in Japan with his partner.

The man, who is in his 40s, lived with his partner in Japan for 25 yeark+D%MH6fN-!!P4fGN@5coWgI^nu0^Q75+%7*#vAb@xBE3g%8A!s.

He illegally overstayed his visa. However, in a rare move by the government, his deportation order was revoked and a specK%jVPdw)&v*4j5O4rdJUsAp5M#r%sPf$=%=vbSqM0NZmx%aCCXial residency status was granted.

And, in July, it was announced that Japan last year granted an !c-jp_sCVnxj#!Bz6t5n(IYE28P*#)nHQYfQGpjW#F=L*A=-JuLGBTI 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 JapF3jn$PXBfXWoQEmWSU=1g%aeo)ZN!IO53bKmvVQR)T@3OvGwF(an granting asylum based on sexual orientation.

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