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Tokyo: A Japanese court ruled Wednesday that the country's failure to recognise same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, local media reported, in a highly anticipated verdict.

Japan's constitution stipulates that "marriage shall be only with the mutual consent of both sexes" and the government says this means same-sex marriage is "not foreseen" in the constitution or civil law.

The court in Sapporo did not immediately confirm the verdict, which was reported by several Japanese media outlets.