Japanese court orders woman to pay compensation for sleeping with man's wife

Tokyo, Japan - In a sensational decision for the East Asian country, a Japanese court has awarded a man compensation because his wife cheated on him with another woman.

Until recently, same-sex extramarital affairs were not considered legal infidelity (stock image).
Until recently, same-sex extramarital affairs were not considered legal infidelity (stock image).  © 123RF/Ivan Zelenin

In 2019, the Japanese man sued a woman for having sex with his wife.

According to Japan's dongA News, the Tokyo City District Court has now ruled that the man is entitled to 110,000 yen in compensation, which is the equivalent of about $1000.

His wife was accused of having an ongoing affair with another woman. They met regularly and had secret sexual encounters behind the man's back.

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Now the "other woman" will have to pay for the damages. The court is said to have found that "as a result of same-sex acts, the existing couple's life could be at risk of divorce."

In Japan, the decision is considered a landmark, as until recently, if a married person had a same-sex affair, it was not considered legal infidelity.

The scorned man's lawyer sad that it was "a judgment that substantially considered the relationships between the parties, regardless of whether they were of the same sex or the opposite sex."

It "reflected the reality of modern society in which diverse styles of communal living exist," he also said.

Despite the ruling, the husband has appealed as he feels that the sum he was awarded is too small. The new outcome is yet to be determined.

Rights of same-sex relationships strengthened in Japan

LGBTQ rights are gradually gaining ground in Japan's legal system.
LGBTQ rights are gradually gaining ground in Japan's legal system.  © 123RF/Volodymyr Tverdokhlib

Japanese courts have recently been ruling in favor of gay couples more often, gradually strengthening LGBTQ rights in the country.

Last month, the Sapporo District Court ruled it unconstitutional to ban same-sex marriages.

This came after a 2020 decision by the Tokyo High Court, giving gay couples who experienced infidelity the same right to compensation as straight couples enjoy, even if "the two are of the same sex and cannot legally report their marriage," the court decided.

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"It can be said that they were in a relationship similar to the marriage of a man and a woman," the court claimed, despite gay marriage still being illegal.

The decision is a cornerstone for many similar cases dealing with the breakup of gay couples.

Cover photo: 123RF/Ivan Zelenin

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