The Tokyo High Court upheld a lower court ruling Thursday to not grant a stable residential status to an American with a Japanese same-sex partner, but said it was problematic to not grant same-sex partners the same status as married couples.

The civil case centers on whether a foreign national in a same-sex partnership with a Japanese citizen should be granted “long-term resident status,” which allows residency for up to five years in Japan. It is granted to same-sex couples who are both foreign nationals.

While the high court ruling said that not having a legal framework that grants the same residential status as married couples to same-sex partners could “be a problem” under Article 14 which guarantees equality under law, that in itself could not be considered discriminatory based on sexual preference and therefore cannot be deemed unconstitutional.