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Court rejects couple's surname appeal

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Family court has no power for anything, let alone surname legalities. Do not get married or if are get divorced, get the name back and live together.

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My wife went to family court to change her name. She had already taken my last name but she wanted a middle name. Before they heard her petition they tried to talk her into withdrawing it. They said we're going to reject it, so why don't you withdraw? They wouldn't even let me in the room.

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You'd think that the Japanese, Korean and Chinese would have many things in common - but name changing isn't one of them. Women from both Korea and Chinese-speaking places keep their own names. People who insist on keeping the status quo in Japan are welcome to do what they like with their own names, but they shouldn't have the right to tell other women (and men) to change their names.

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I was under the impression that the law wants married couples to have the same surname. It doesn't state that it is the woman that MUST have her name changed although I do agree that tradionationally it has been the woman that changes her name and not the man.

I think it's important for family solidarity to share the same last name but I don't think it's important what that name is. What's wrong with a little compromise and allow a name change that suits both people.

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In this case, we should respect tradition.

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get with it Japan its 2011 ALREADY!

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What if couples married and chose a third last name, not from either family? That would be awesomely confusing, but could be fun. "I'd like to meet The Gojira's", for instance. Or, "The 3-D Nintendo's"... :-)

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My Japanese wife uses my family name in daily life, her maiden name on her income tax return and both names in her passport. Convenient.

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In this case, we should respect tradition.

Which tradition? This "tradition" is just another thing imported from the West back in the 19th century. It's no more Japanese than wearing a suit - or rather even less Japanese, as it's incongruent with older Japanese traditions.

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The perception that Japan is a patriarchal society comes from the family registration system and various codes established in the Meiji period. A period of rapid modernization and Westernization which codified male primogeniture and gave the male house hold absolute authority over this household members. The Meiji code made the norms of the patriarchal samurai class the model for Modern Japan, but in earlier periods, family systems in Japan varied depending on the region, class and period. In other words, patriarchy was far from the norm in premodern and early modern Japan, when the kinship system was very flexible. Frequent name changes and the relative ease with which these are formalized in Japan reflect the continued flexibility of the Japanese kinship system. Despite the patriarchal structure of the Meiji civil code, which remained in effect until the end of World War II. Japan has remained a society in which family and kinship systems are constantly debated, modified and regarded to suit the needs of its' members. Therefore the flexibility of this system has enabled people to continue the practice of changing both their given names and surnames. But when it requires married couples to have the same name, I wonder if its Japan's classic example of double standard even though I understand the role of enriched tradition in Japanese culture. Hence, is this still a violation of constitutional equality? What's the verdict?

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The justice ministry drafted in 1996 a bill allowing married couples an option to keep separate surnames was shelved by conservative lawmakers just before submission to parliament. It has since stalled.

Drafted in 1996 huh. Yeah I guess you could say its stalled.

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