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Women's rights activists in Japan demand dual-surname option

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By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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A 2015 Supreme Court ruling urged parliament to discuss the surname issue instead of issuing a legal judgement, but parliamentary deliberation has stalled amid opposition by conservative members of the governing party.

Here is my favorite example of Japanese government double talk and how it it suits them they ignore their own false reasoning.

I was married back in the 1980s to my first wife she wasnt even asked it was automatic she kept her surname. We married in my country where we no longer change names and the Japanese marriage registration remained her birth surname.

In the early 2000s my late wife (second wife) was given the option "Gaijin" name or to keep her surname. She kept her surname after her passing I remarried and again my present wife was given the option of keeping her surname which is better because she was/is a well established professional and known by her birth surname in business for well over a decade before getting married.

I find it interesting that well over 30 years ago women marrying foreigners had the options to retain their birth surname and today still do but if they marry a Japanese man they can't.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

"It's our culture, innit?" say the self-appointed guardians of culture. Of course, like all cultural ideologists they pick and choose from among old culture to support their own prejudices. It was not that long ago the peons had no surname.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Computers do not recognize a hyphenated name.

-21 ( +3 / -24 )

blue in greenToday  07:40 am JST

Computers do not recognize a hyphenated name.

Computers from which century?

13 ( +21 / -8 )

In both USA and Europe, married women still take the husband's name. This is more the normal practice then the opposite.

You should check your information.

For decades women have had the right to retain their birth surname in much of Europe dual surname have been common for at least 40 years or more.

This is another attack on families, marriage, attack on men!

Poor poor families a divorce rate in Europe ranging from 35% to 52% North America 45% Japan 35% surname changing isn't going to be a big deal.

If anything it is a money saver, no need to change all ID then change it all back after divorce.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

At a high school reunion party, for example, female attendants attend with different surnames from what they used to be known, like different persons. So, it's a right direction for women's rights activists to demand for the dual use of surnames for women.

This, of course, is a midway solution for the issue if equality should be taken into consideration.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Not just dual surname, but the right to use whatever the name she wants, be it her maiden name.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

The computer comment is hilarious but true. I have two middle names and businesses cant even register be without an issues. I have rarely seen a well built and easy to use website in Japan

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Dual surnames and dual custody sounds about right.

Many in his Liberal Democratic Party support traditional gender roles and a paternalistic family system, arguing that allowing the option of separate surnames would destroy family unity and affect children.

Why is it that Japanese law makers think they know better than the rest of the world? I guess if women are allowed to keep their family name, it just makes it easier for them when they decide to leave the marriage or flee a foreign country and return to Japan with the kids.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I guess if women are allowed to keep their family name, it just makes it easier for them when they decide to leave the marriage or flee a foreign country and return to Japan with the kids.

Strange argument seeing I pointed out if it is an international marriage women have had the right to retain their birth surname for decades.

As for Japanese with Japanese the women have the right to return to their birth surname within a certain period after divorce at no charge but still a lot of running around ( passport, driver's license, health insurance card, my number card, etc..)

So it really would only do one thing, save time and money both ways changing to the husband's name then changing back after divorce

This waste of time and money was a major factor in my province in Canada eliminating changing names saved millions of dollars yearly with the 40% + divorce rate.

Japan are 35% would save a good chunk of money no cost changing everything when they get married no cost changing back after divorce.

Waste of time and money changing names in the first place.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Great for these women and others like them. I hope it goes through. My wife has that option in the US, and I see nothing wrong with that.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Difficult because divorce is becoming more common in Japan. We have so many official documents, cards etc. every time you change your name…

but my partner has there surname and I have mine. So far no problems. So far.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

As pointed out by Antiquesaving, for international marriages in Japan, the standard rules that both people must have the same name doesn't apply. My wife still uses her maiden name for everything, and when she renewed her passport, she was given the option of putting my family name in brackets, after her name (which she did).

8 ( +8 / -0 )

My wife used a hyphen name sometime. Sometimes it’s my last name and sometimes it’s here family name. No problems.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

What are these women thinking? It will upend traditional Japanese society as we know it, just like gay marriage! Kidding aside, I’ve never actually met a women, Japan or elsewhere, who wants to keep or has kept her maiden name after marriage.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Ugh, please pick your battles more carefully.

worry about people’s names later on.

This cannot possibly be the top priority for women’s movement.

work on the more important things, like equal pay and executive position jobs first.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

work on the more important things, like equal pay and executive position jobs first.

Why does it have to be one or the other?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Picture made me chuckle..head of the Japanese communist Party talking about women's rights lol

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

This cannot possibly be the top priority for women’s movement.

> work on the more important things, like equal pay and executive position jobs first.

Perfect example of a contradiction.

Imagine a MAN in a profession becomes well known and we'll respected.

His name is linked to his reputation.

Now change his name overnight!

So Paul Smith lawyer is now Paul Tanaka!

Who has ever heard of Paul Tanaka but they know Paul Smith.

Now every woman that builds a reputation has to deal with this if they decide to get married.

My ex-wife has an international reputation under her birth surname she has not married her live in boyfriend of 20 years because it would cause far to many problems.

My present wife has a reputation long established under her birth surname had she been forced to take my name all that recognition is gone until the connection with her knew name is established taking years.

No man has to deal with this.

So yes it is a big problem and priority especially for professionals and established reputation.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Single working mothers. Disparity between men and women at jobs in both salary and culture. Lack of kindergarten options for working families and especially working mothers. Harassment issuses while working. There are so many other issues that are far more important than this family name issue which should be secondary to all other major disparities women face in Japanese society today.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Computers do not recognize a hyphenated name.

funny you should say that, when I first came to Japan, my 3 names 1st, middle, surname.

had too many characters so whenever i got a bank account , Japan post account, got a car registered they always ran out of characters. they were hell bent on including my middle name so they basically cut it in half. My name had to be in romanji. fast forward 10yrs a little bit of computer programming and magic!

my full name now exist on nearly all my documents, my full English's name is now on most of my accounts , car registration, gaijin card.

Amazing what you can get computers to do when you have will to change the system

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Gaijinjland

Today 09:32 am JST

What are these women thinking? It will upend traditional Japanese society as we know it, just like gay marriage! Kidding aside, I’ve never actually met a women, Japan or elsewhere, who wants to keep or has kept her maiden name after marriage

Strange I married 3 that kept their names, nearly all the foreign men I know married to Japanese living in Japan their wives kept their birth surname.

Yoko Smith or Yuka Jones is like painting a sign in your forehead "I married a Gaijin".

I know several Japanese female doctors, lawyers and tax accountants all would prefer not to change their names as their professional careers are linked to their surname.

Only men seem to have a problem with this idea.

I wonder how many men with a professional reputation are willing to change their name getting married?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

藤原

Today 09:57 am JST

Read my comment on this.

If women are to make headway in business, professions etc..

Keeping the same identify and reputation long term is important.

If a business consultant has a great reputation and her name is, Yoko Suzuki, 10, 15 years she built her reputation.

Now suddenly she is Yoko Tanaka, no one recognises her name she now needs to go around explaining, repeating Yoko Tanaka formerly Suzuki, her diplomas certificates awards will all say Suzuki.

Why does a professional women have to deal with these problems but not professional men!?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The main problem seems to be with the family register. Different names need different registers. If a Japanese couple kept their family names they would require both to remain on their family registers. When children are born which register will they be on?

East Asian countries have these family registers. In the west, people are registered individually and not by family.

Allowing women to retain their family names will also require a change to the family register system.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The husband can also change his name to his wife's family. But only 4% do and usually when a man marries into a wealthy family for the sake of inheritance or continuing that family name.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The bother of my partner married into a family that had no male hire to carry on the family name. So his wife retained her surname but he lost his. This mainly had to do with carrying on the business name when I asked my partner.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yoko Smith or Yuka Jones is like painting a sign in your forehead "I married a Gaijin".

My wife has a katakana name, meaning that me, she, and our children share a surname. This may challenge some people's notion that all Japanese people must look a certain way and have a name like Suzuki, but so be it. Japanese is a nationality, it is not a race of people. Why take decisions based on what other people think? There is no shame in marrying a gaijin or having one as a parent.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japanese is a nationality, it is not a race of people

It's a nationality as well as an ethnicity. You can't say it's one or the other. It's both.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

For the first fifteen years or so my spouse retained her family name. Then decided to change it in the family court. Required a change of all her documents but it was what she wanted.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is no shame in marrying a gaijin or having one as a parent.

I never said it was but let's be realistic.

Half children already face enough problems in Japan, making it even more obvious they are half is your choice but they will be the ones dealing with it.

It is all nice and sweet saying what you said but we can't even get this government and society to accept a woman keeping he birth surname but you think it is ready to accept halfs and Japanese with Gaijin names?

Think about that.

No to something as simple as keeping a name but you expect Haffu with a Gaijin name to not have problems in the long run.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Why go through the bureaucratic work of changing your name? Your identity hasn’t changed. You’re still the same person.

Humans are illogical as hell.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Computers both in USA and Japan, do not use (or recognize) hyphens, or recognize their combinations as full names.

Japan health insurance, USA bank acct., same difference.

It isn’t my choice, as the one who uses a hyphenated name, and the first part of it is regarded as a middle name.

It’s still an issue, it has nothing to do with ‘women’s rights’ or any other thing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

My point of view is that this is moot because the majority doesn't even want to marry anymore. Why is that?

There are several factors of course. But when you've been indoctrinated since birth by negative, anti-human education with a very pessimistic outlook for the future while at the same time dosed into a walking coma by the internet and smartphones, it has an effect.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Computers both in USA and Japan, do not use (or recognize) hyphens, or recognize their combinations as full names.

Really!

Wow how archaic are their systems.

In Quebec, France, much of Europe hyphenated names are very common and every Bank government office passports etc.. computer systems have no problem. And this for at least 30 years.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What I don't understand is why anyone would care what another couple decides to do in their marriage. Whether they have kids or not, take one anothers' names or not, whether the wife or husband works, how they split chores...

But for some reason everyone seems to have a hot take on how other people should live their lives, and then stand in judgement on them if it doesn't happen to align with their own personal views. Why can't people just mind their own business?

Guys, if a woman doesn't want to take your name after marriage, it's not a big deal. It doesn't mean anything other than that she wants to keep her own identity, which, unless you are of the belief that women are only defined by their husband, should not bother you in the least.

And the government has no skin in this game at all - it shouldn't even be an issue. It has no effect whatsoever on anyone else, and there is no reason for there to be a law forbidding it.

It's just ridiculous that in 2023 this is even an issue.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If women who marry can retain their family name, what name do children have and on whose Koseki will they be registered? There needs to be a change in the family registration first.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Guys, if a woman doesn't want to take your name after marriage, it's not a big deal. It doesn't mean anything other than that she wants to keep her own identity

But read the comments here.

Obviously it is it seems some great big attack on their masculinity.

Imagine they would have a cow if in Quebec, no name change is done and hasn't since the 1980s.

It just made financial sense.

The cost of changing all the women's IDs From driver's license to passports payroll etc.. then in the event of a divorce, changing it all back.

35% of marriage in Japan end in divorce and the woman has the right to return to her pre marriage name.

That is at tax payer expense as was changing her name to the husband's name.

So let's save money and fix a problem

0 ( +3 / -3 )

AntiquesavingToday 12:01 pm JST

In Quebec, France, much of Europe hyphenated names are very common and every Bank government office passports etc.. computer systems have no problem. And this for at least 30 years.

Cost-benefit. From the computer's perspective, it can only handle hyphenated names as:

1) The whole string is one field.

2) Each of the two names takes up a field, so if you mostly don't use hyphenated names, 98% of your population would be Smith-Nameless to the computer.

AntiquesavingToday 07:53 am JST

For decades women have had the right to retain their birth surname in much of Europe dual surname have been common for at least 40 years or more.

Your statement and the deleted statement you were replying to don't contradict each other. That they have the right to refuse to take the husband's name doesn't mean most of them will. Which means kids with double-barreled names or wife's name would still end up being the outlier. It's certainly possible inferences will be made based on this.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I find it very telling that Japanese people marrying foreigners are the only ones allowed to keep their birth surname. "One name for one family... unless that name isn't Japanese, then we'll give your the opportunity to avoid sullying yourself and your professional brand and keep the name you were born with, because we know, but will not admit that Japanese society treats non-Japanese-sounding people worse."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Imagine they would have a cow if in Quebec, no name change is done and hasn't since the 1980s.

That same Quebec with one of the lowest birth rates in the world?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki

Today 12:18 pm JST

All I see is someone looking for an excuse, someone trying to justify an outdated system.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The cost of a name change is borne by the bearer, not the taxpayer. New ID, driving license, passport.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

About 600,000 marriages every year. Less than half since 1970.

Falling like a stone in water.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1249856/japan-marriage-rate/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

ThonTaddeo

Today 12:19 pm JST

I find it very telling that Japanese people marrying foreigners are the only ones allowed to keep their birth surname. "One name for one family... unless that name isn't Japanese, then we'll give your the opportunity to avoid sullying yourself and your professional brand and keep the name you were born with, because we know, but will not admit that Japanese society treats non-Japanese-sounding people worse.

More telling are those trying to act like the koseki is a problem.

Funny my ex-wife kept her name, my name was different on the koseki my have their mother's name but we were offered to use my surname when registering their births.

"Oh no what about the koseki we can't change "

"Oh Gaijin husband/father?"

" Oh no problem rules no longer apply "

Same for residency registration.

One for one family,

My Japanese divorced are remarried friend has to put his wife and his children (no hers) on the same juminhyo.

But in my case no problem, my wife and I have one my daughter and son on another and this has been that way from before my children were adults.

Funny how Japan can always find a loophole when Gaijin are involved.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Cost-benefit. From the computer's perspective, it can only handle hyphenated names as:

1) The whole string is one field.

2) Each of the two names takes up a field, so if you mostly don't use hyphenated names, 98% of your population would be Smith-Nameless to the computer.

What is this, the '90s with Y2K problems or something?

A hyphen is just another character, same as the letters A to Z or あ to ゆ. It takes no additional storage that would ever result in any cost, to allow a hyphen, and I've never seen a database that splits hyphenated names into separate fields, ever.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The cost of a name change is borne by the bearer, not the taxpayer. New ID, driving license, passport.

Ok I ignored your false claims long enough.

The supreme Court of Japan rulled a long time ago it was unfair that only one partner had to pay to change their name back and seeing it was generally women it was also deemed a rights violation.

Since then the following applies.

When a couple divorces in Japan, the family name of the party who changed his or her name shall revert to the original pre-marriage name. A divorced husband or wife who wishes to keep his or her married name after the divorce may do so by written notice within three months of the time of the divorce.

https://oharalaw-japan.com/2016/02/23/after-divorce-can-a-wife-return-to-using-her-maiden-name/#:~:text=When%20a%20couple%20divorces%20in,the%20time%20of%20the%20divorce.

Only cost would be if she wants to also change the children's names.

And there is the other hole in you posts.

Many women I know that are divorced in Japan have retaken their original surname but the children still have the ex-husband's surname on her koseki so multiple names again no problem if it suits those in charge.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Kinda simple tho isn't it? Especially if you plan to have kids, who's gonna be the one supporting the family, whose social health insurance will you be on?

I can really see the point for women who own their own business or companies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Foreigners do not have their names on Koseki which is for Japanese citizens only.

https://www.city.kasama.lg.jp/data/doc/1559550159_doc_1_0.pdf

"Only Japanese nationals can be listed on the koseki. If you are a foreigner marrying a Japanese national, the Japanese national will start a new koseki and the marriage will be noted on there, but you will not be added because you’re not a Japanese national. If you have children, they will be added under the Japanese’s national’s koseki."

https://legacytomodachi.com/2019/01/22/all-about-japans-koseki-family-register-system/

Before a law is introduced allowing women in marriage to retain their family names will require a major change in the Koseki system too.

Juminhyo is not a Koseki, it is proof of residence.

Because the koseki serves as an official record of family relationships, it is used to determine heirs and prove connections between individuals.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

iradickle

Today 12:47 pm JST

Kinda simple tho isn't it? Especially if you plan to have kids, who's gonna be the one supporting the family, whose social health insurance will you be on?

More excuses.

I had my own business so my children were on there mother's health insurance because it was company provided.

I know plenty of Japanese that the children are on the mother's insurance because it provides more or cost less.

Next will be "how will the children know who their father is or mother is if they have different names"

Come on what frightens men so much.?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Only Japanese nationals can be listed on the koseki. If you are a foreigner marrying a Japanese national, the Japanese national will start a new koseki and the marriage will be noted on there, but you will not be added because you’re not a Japanese national. If you have children, they will be added under the Japanese’s national’s koseki."

I just looked at our koseki, and that is correct. I'm not listed on it as a person, just my wife and children. I'm only listed as her spouse, and my childrens' parent.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The reason a Japanese woman can keep her family name when marrying a foreigner is that there are no non-Japanese on the Koseki. One Koseki, one family name.

https://www.watabe-visa-tokyo.com/english/visa-information/tips-koseki/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A child is listed on his or her parent's koseki until they create their own. This typically happens when they get married. But in case of a divorce, the child will move to the person with shinken (legal custody.) In case of a non-Japanese getting full custody in Japan, you should break your child off of the Japanese parent's Family Registration and onto his or her own. (You probably need both Shinken and Kangoken types of child custody.) This is not a complete solution to a future abduction by the Japanese parent, but it will make it more difficult, since it will be clearly obvious that the Japanese parent does not have custody. It will take an additional legal procedure to move the child back. So it is one more obstacle and a good precautionary and preventative measure.

http://crnjapan.net/The_Japan_Childrens_Rights_Network/res-koseki.html

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The horse needs to come before the cart. A change in the family register system will be required before another law allows women to retain their own family name. The same problem is in other East Asian countries which see the family as a unit and not as individuals.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Strangerland

Today 12:54 pm JST

"Only Japanese nationals can be listed on the koseki. If you are a foreigner marrying a Japanese national, the Japanese national will start a new koseki and the marriage will be noted on there, but you will not be added because you’re not a Japanese national. If you have children, they will be added under the Japanese’s national’s koseki."

> I just looked at our koseki, and that is correct. I'm not listed on it as a person, just my wife and children. I'm only listed as her spouse, and my childrens' parent.

Have you ever seen the koseki of a divorced and remarried Japanese couple.

Interesting both spouses, the ex spouse (remains for 15 years) the children (if with the mother they will probably still have the birth father's name.

So as my daughter's friend's mother's koseki.

The second husband, her name, her ex husbands name with marriage and divorce dates, the children with birth fathers name birth dates and names including both parents names (daughter's friend and siblings) so no problem.

Next example.

Mother has children but children remained in father's koseki.

Father remarried.

So his name his new wife and his ex wife her maiden name and his children his name.

The list goes on .

They make exceptions and changes as needed.

The whole Koseki argument is just male ego looking for and excuse.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The same problem is in other East Asian countries which see the family as a unit and not as individuals.

Only 2 places still use Family registry.

Japan and Taiwan.

Every other Asian country dropped it all a long time ago.

South Korea doing so in 2008.

Only Taiwan and Japan Left and again no problem even under the present system as multiple manes are done all the time in blended families.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A similar registration system exists within the public administration structures of all East Asian states influenced by the ancient Chinese system of government.

The local pronunciations of the name of the household register vary, but all are derived from the same Chinese characters as that for koseki (in traditional Chinese: 戶籍).

These states include People's Republic of China (hukou), Republic of China (Taiwan) (hùjí), and in North Korea (hoju, hojeok, hojok). In South Korea, the hoju system was abolished in 2008.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Koseki isn't an argument. It is what prevents the change in the law required to allow married women to retain family names. The Civil Code needs to be changed. Then a law allowing women to keep their names.

Like I said in my comment @ 10:53, my spouse kept her name for 15 years before changing it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For those saying this isn't the hindrance for women in general or at work or in their profession at all this up.

When a company is hiring they look at all the options and they look at all their expenses human resources being their number one expense in general.

So already women are at a disadvantage the company thinks if I hire a man I know what I'm getting if I hire a woman I have to think will she take maternity leave, will she get married and quit, will she need time off to raise her children?

Now add in will I (the company) have to incur the extra expense of a name change this means changing the insurance papers the tax papers everything. And in the event of a divorce I've (the company) got to change it all back.

Now make the argument that this does not disadvantage women.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This issue and the koseki just goes to show that bureaucratic convenience and control will always trump civil rights in Japan. It's hardly to do with "culture" either because the whole situation was put in place in the Meiji period with bureaucratic control and convenience very much in mind. In fact, most of what we think of as Japan is a Meiji period invention.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"In Japan, unlike the US and some other countries, there are NO official birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, and so on. All this information is listed on the Koseki document instead."

"There is also a Johon document as well. It is a corollary to the Koseki. The purpose of the Johon is to record information when someone was removed from the associated Koseki. This might happen because of a death or a divorce, for example. The Johon can thus be a very valuable source of family history information. "

http://www.mykoseki.com/

Recently we had to apply for a Johon to remove the names of the deceased sister and brother of my spouse. We needed this so we can take over ownership of the family grave so that we can intern their remains there.

All this was done at the ward office of their native place.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

most women face social pressure to adopt their husbands' surnames — a prewar tradition based on paternalistic family values — widens gender inequality.

Widens gender inequality or rather strengthens the family and marriage putting pressure on the husband/father to live up to his name and treat his family accordingly.

If you do not want to have your husband’s surname, just don’t get married.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Widens gender inequality or rather strengthens the family and marriage putting pressure on the husband/father to live up to his name and treat his family accordingly.

> If you do not want to have your husband’s surname, just don’t get married.

More false male propaganda.

The then ultra concervative controlled Catholic province of Quebec had more separated couples and single mothers during the time prior to no longer changing names, oh on paper because of Church control couples weren't "divorced" but the husband sure wasn't supporting.

You act like this little name change is so important that the man will suddenly stand up and do what is right because the woman has his name.

Completely laughable!

We have had that and look it isn't working is it?

If your beliefs were true then the divorce rate wouldn't be 35%, all and nothing would need changing.

But here comes reality and facts, divorce up , single parent households up despite the steadfast fantasy people like the old men in government claim they are holding on to family values by not permitting choice.

It must be a sad life that the need to show loyalty to the weak male the woman has to be forced to take his name.

Funny, when my parents married over 60 years ago my mother had no choice, today strangely she is back to her birth surname due to my province's laws, nothing changed in their marriage, my brother married under the no name change law, and wow over 30 years later still no problem but then my father and brother aren't weak men that need validation by their wives proving submission with a name change.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Bad idea.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Back in the day when I married, women weren't allowed to change their surnames when they married a foreigner.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JeremiahToday 02:31 pm JST

Widens gender inequality or rather strengthens the family and marriage putting pressure on the husband/father to live up to his name and treat his family accordingly.

If you do not want to have your husband’s surname, just don’t get married.

If you don't like that some women don't take their husband's surname, just don't worry about it because it's none of your business, anyway. All you have to do is move on. Easy!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My wife kept her surname. I guess the government prefers that over women changing to a foreign surname.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of course women should be able to keep their original family names.

And Im not a fan of hyphenated names combining their maiden name with the husbands family name. Men overwhelmingly dont do that so why should women.

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The reason a Japanese woman can keep her family name when marrying a foreigner is that there are no non-Japanese on the Koseki. One Koseki, one family name.

After my spousal visa expired, and my divorce to a Japanese woman, I had to apply for a work visa. Immigration wanted a copy of the Koseki to prove that I was divorced etc. My ex refused to tell me where the Koseki was and it wasn't until immigration contacted her with the request that she complied. I have a feeling there was something on the Koseki that she didn't want me to see.

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Foreigners absolutely do not under the Koseki-system. Under the legal system, you are NOT even a man. You don't exist because you don't have your own Koseki. Foreigners are ronin at best. Japanese women would rather be attached to their Japanese family than you.

Furthermore, if family names were more "diverse", at some point in the future, Japan would have to recognize this statistically. It has HUGE implications. With that said, if your beautiful bride-to-be doesn't want to take your family name, I can bet my paycheck that you are already on the road to divorce even before your nuptials.

Don't marry her if she doesn't want to change her name. Any married person can take off a wedding ring, but you can't just smudge the name on her ID. She can make up any story if she cheats on you while using her maiden name.

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When you become a PR and divorce you can remain in the country. You become independent and no longer need a spouse visa.

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First time, I would partially agree with women’s activist. Women shouldn’t use just their last name after marriage. They should use at least a double name. It’s crazy that some women their last name after marriage. Then don’t marry if you don’t want to change name.

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JohnMar. 10 12:28 pm JST

First time, I would partially agree with women’s activist. Women shouldn’t use just their last name after marriage. They should use at least a double name. It’s crazy that some women their last name after marriage. Then don’t marry if you don’t want to change name.

What's really crazy is that you care so much about how other people chose to live their lives.

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