The Supreme Court may review a high court judgment that the same-sex partner of a murder victim is ineligible for survivor benefits.

The court's Third Petty Bench, presided by Justice Michiharu Hayashi, decided on Wednesday to hold oral arguments on March 5, a necessary step toward changing a high court ruling.

The lawsuit was filed by Yasuhide Uchiyama, 48, who claimed that the Aichi Prefectural Safety Commission's rejection of his application for the benefits made under a crime victim compensation program was illegal and demanded that the prefectural government revoke the move.

This would mark the first time the Supreme Court has made a decision regarding the issue of public benefits for same-sex partners.

Uchiyama's partner was murdered in 2014 at age 52 after they had lived together for over 20 years. The application was filed as the program stipulates payment of the benefits to those who effectively had marital relations with crime victims.

The district court dismissed Uchiyama's claim in June 2020, saying that living together with a same-sex partner had yet to be socially accepted as something equal to a marriage.

In August 2022, the high court also ruled that same-sex partners were not socially viewed as equal to heterosexual or married couples, despite an additional argument being put forward that the payment rejection went against a constitutional clause guaranteeing equality before the law.