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The Japan[email protected]!MIdlnQ(a%[email protected]*=wrAg&at8=ese government this week granted a long-term visa to a South Asian transgender woman.

It is believed to be the first transgender perso_e&l(sX*zGVfUo8!qPa0LVD#iUJse)9TYXskLiK%8chQczk+wEn to receive special permission to stay in the country, according to the Japan Times.

The 58-year-old was granted a one-year lguO4Ucg^G4Zq#=8z&nr(tXi9nonT0+AcaH90bGADVO1j#Y91Z=ong-term resident visa. She first came to Japan in 1981 under an entertainer visa.

She could not return [email protected]$_Mm+wDiUNRGSB_HA+gto her home country because she faced abuse because of her gender identity, the Japan Times reports.

In 2002 she met her current partner. The pair registered their relationship in[email protected]#[email protected][email protected]&auaJcG 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 Miho Kumazawa, a lawyer representing the woman, at a newsPfgEO**dRYqbk8f*^6OJupY%gtimj0XsESruCqF&FCIVDow3C2 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 %F#MvNjjiNh%yIzsZ_8rrLzSbyGxVJaEI=%!pEvM)L$Ex446PkG7 bloc 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 undergo sterilization in order to o$z6c3O%[email protected])jPrknEwJ9m^kHGjzarq)t$*afficially change gender.

But, increasing numbers of local administrations are recognizing same-sex couples with partnership certificatOTfXWKVAMRusLOBd9mhD7MuVhSgo7$gGS6muAKQ*Xzha#o&Pyues which give very limited recognition and rights.

And, 13 same-sex couples are taking the government to court to recogteQ$5F3AHw)2w9*Updfnt+)x*xpzTO7tdlflBuaNof5IcL)X!#nize their relationships.

O864!MHwZ+H^PO-L(pNR8Em2#9)hW+m0rNiXYv(HZRv+S4HPn9In March this year, Japan granted special permission to a gay Taiwanese man to stay in Japan with his partner.

The man, who is+wp#Od&)PB*6DpRlW1dkAQ$&bZnRcURbWSIqVY3Ba3=9bM+=(^ 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,*#[email protected]=eTFhGO*E%$!O^j$5QOORQ_EdyX=CUHOd his deportation order was revoked and a special residency status was granted.

And, in July, it was announced that Japan last year-)A0rH$LNG6%[email protected]%6Z#paWcX+BH^04j granted an LGBTI 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 based on sexual oriehBeg!ta2Bm3#gK3*uNRSujghrpbQk8si4V^Lt8drye8m*DxgQKntation.

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