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Hope growing that married couples will be allowed to use different surnames

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If the marriage is to a foreigner then the original name CAN be kept.

My wife is not a Kipling.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

There is no reason why couples shouldn't be able to retain their own names after marriage. The practice is sexist and archaic, and it's about time the Japanese government gave serious attention to changing the law.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

While the ruling LDP is known for having many conservative members who adamantly oppose separate surnames as harmful to a family's unity, signs of change are emerging.

That's what party want but what public really say?

a civic group showed 70.6 percent of 7,000 respondents said they did not mind if married couples had different surnames, while 14.4 percent said all couples should have the same family name.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Yes, does not apply to foreigners

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki

@zichiToday 06:58 pm JST

All right. When push comes to shove, which of those three countries' interests will you place on top? Then ask yourself whether you deserve citizenship in the runner-ups. I mean, yeah, clearly they let you I guess, but you aren't willing to put them on top.

Interestingly, I don't live in the country of my birth, UK nor the the other two countries I could claim citizenship and a passport. I don't think with more than one nationality you have to put them in some order. Actually the UK is made up of four countries or nationalities. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

My own family are Welsh, Scottish and Irish (Southern) and no English. We all carry the same passport even though they are four separate countries.

You make the same thinking has Americans over Japanese Americans who they believed they would choose Japan over America so interned them during the course of the war. The American were wrong and have since admitted to it.

I have lived in Japan for 30 years where I don't have citizenship.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Wolfpack Today 07:47 am JS

They think breaking family bonds is progress. Who needs a family when the village can take care of your family. That leaves parents free to pursue their own happiness. They forget that when all of the adults are looking out for themselves no one is left to look after the children.

I'm not sure how allowing the couple to take the woman's last name or to have different names breaks family bonds and creates a situation where the parents ignore their children and leave them to look after themselves. Perhaps you can outline this process, and show us all how that works, exactly?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Rolf Anderson Today 12:15 am JST

Sadly our generation has been afflicted with a piece of defective public policy, Marriage Deconstructionism. Forcing ordinary citizens to speak and act as though same-sex unions, polygamous unions, incestuous unions, pedophilia unions, bestial unions are all equal with marriage is societal suicide.

Further weakening marriage by not respecting the bond made, and exemplified, by taking on your spouse’s last name is just another nail in the societal coffin.

How does it deconstruct or weaken a marriage when the couple have different last names, or when they both chose to use the wife's last name?

I also don't quite know what you mean when you say polygamy, incest, pedpshila and bestiality are allowed. Where do you live?

Also, I don't see you being forced to agree with any of the above. Your ability to continue to post denigrating comments about LGBTQIA demonstrates that you haven't been forced into anything.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Strangerland Today 04:06 am JST

Wide-scale epidemiological studies have found that there is only one indicator always indicative of upcoming divorce - a hyphenated last. (Alternate) fact!!

I did a quick search on google scholar and couldn't find any such studies. Most of them are about how women who hyphenate or change their name are percieved, and the demographics of that population.

Perhaps you could give me the key words you used to search, or the DOIs of the studies you read?

Most of the articles in my search conclude that name choices empower women. I guess that is what you guys are complaining about? If women are independent even within their bonded long-term relationships, I guess it means men aren't "king of the castle" anymore, and will miss being served breakfast and having their little woman great them at the door with their pipe and slippers.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Further weakening marriage by not respecting the bond made

That's weird, my marriage doesn't feel any weaker when homosexuals are able to get married. Or anyone for that matter. The strength of my relationship is not based on whether or not other people who love each other, but dare to share the same type of genitalia, are able to get married.

What's wrong with your marriage that it's defined by that of others?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

With this step, the Japanese family register will finally be less archaic and some family members will hopefully no longer be seem as 'chattel'. I truly hope that this is the beginning of changes that will bring Japan out of the dark ages and allow for dual citizenship.

Japan has long been complaining that they need to attract more people to Japan, why not leave the door open for Japanese that had to choose one citizenship over another for family or work reasons. I know of many that would return to Japan if they still had their Japanese citizenship but did not have to give up their new citizenship. Many of them live in countries where dual citizenship is legal. Why is Japan so against dual citizenship? Is it the same reason as the single last name issue?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

The law that requires married couples to have the same surname is not itself discriminatory. Men can adopt their wives’ surname if they so wish.

This is what the Supreme Court said a few years ago when the constitutionality of the Civil Code provision was challenged.

The evidence however showed that in 96% of cases the female is the one who actually changes her name. So while the text itself is gender neutral, the actual effect of the rule is not.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Wolfpack Today 04:17 am JST

You are taking my comments out of context. I simply stated that women have choices and the government isn't making them do anything. Japanese women are not forced to change their surnames to be married. The exact same thing is true for men. There is nothing unfair about that - it is completely neutral when it comes to sex. The choice is up to those two individuals who love each other and decide to marry. I was not inferring that the law forced people not to get married. That inference comes from your imagination.

The point is that one or the other must change their name even if they do not want to. This is not freedom. This is limiting choice.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Bungle Today 10:43 am JST

And yet a woman’s maiden name is that which was bequeathed to her by her father. Feminists’ attempts to contort themselves out of this quandary is quaintly amusing.

I'm not sure what you mean. We are given our names at birth, and not given a choice. What has that to do with the choice as an adult to take on a new name, or keep the name given to us at birth?

It doesn't seem a contortion to request that we be given a choice.

And in the future, children may be given either the name of their mother, their father, or a combination of the two, or an entirely new last name decided on between the couple.

And that child can later chose to keep that name, or a new, entirely different one, once they are of age.

The point is go give people choices. And as I said, I don't see what is wrong with that.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

My wife of over 20 years still uses, registered under her Ex husband family name. 

Ouch.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

ok, now dual citizenship from mixed children !

3 ( +3 / -0 )

All leading countries recognise dual nationality and has nothing to do with the quality of life in those countries. There are in fact, tens of thousands of people carrying a Japanese passport and that of their birth country.

There are also people who could claim citizenship of more than three countries. Three in my case.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

To my mind, only a country that is not attractive enough for single citizenship will settle for dual. 

Your mind would be wrong.

Most developed countries allow dual citizenship, including the US, UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, and other major nations and popular destinations for immigrants. In fact, the US, despite it's recent issues, has historically been one of the top destinations for emigration.

It seems to me that nations that do not allow dual citizenship have leaders with inferiority complexes who feel the need to force people to choose them over anyone else. It's like having a girlfriend or boyfriend who demands you get rid of the dog or wants you to stay home with them instead of going out with your friends. It's needy and childish.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The effect is not up to the government -

Literally it is the government that is making the rules, so yes it is.

it's up to the couples involved.

No it isn't, not if they don't have the choice of retaining the name they want. The government is forcing them to make that choice.

If you do not like the outcome then you do not like the choices the women made. That's your problem - not theirs.

No, I don't like the fact that their choices are arbitrarily limited. That is a problem with the existing Civil Code, not with women.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There is no reason why couples shouldn't be able to retain their own names after marriage. The practice is sexist and archaic,

And yet a woman’s maiden name is that which was bequeathed to her by her father. Feminists’ attempts to contort themselves out of this quandary is quaintly amusing.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

I find it kind of amusing that of all things THIS is the trigger issue for Japanese conservatives.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Stupid, discriminatory rule. You should be able to use whatever name you like. I didn’t change my name, neither did my husband. The world won’t end if Japan makes life easier for couples.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Ahh, such binary American thinking. "Either of them can change their name, or they don't get married".

Why is it Americans extremists are so prone to thinking there are only ever two possible options?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

“If the marriage is to a foreigner than the original name CAN be kept. My wife is not a Kipling”

That’s because non-Japanese citizens cannot have their own entry in family registration (Koseki). The spouse can keep their surname.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Like Mr Kipling said.

My wife is not a.. Kobe.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Mr. Kipling,

Nor does mime. It’s not a big deal.

meiyouwenti, I also know a Japanese couple (a cultured rich family and a tough guy from a poor family - nice guy, got a PhD in Physical Education) who only got her family’s ok when he agreed to take her family name.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I find it kind of amusing that of all things THIS is the trigger issue for Japanese conservatives.

A lot of minor issues that have been easily resolved for the rest of the world are trigger issues for Japanese conservatives.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Since we were not married in Japan, when we came to live here she had to continue with their maiden name until she applied to the family court for a name change. Even with a law change she would still want to use my surname.

There are also men who marry into his wife's family, live with them and take up the name of the family.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The law was different when we married and my wife was not allowed to take my surname even if she wanted to (which of course she did not). If she wanted to change it now she would have to apply to the family court, as zichi says. Living in rural Japan, even though we explain that she was not permitted to change her name, all the neighbors think we are living in sin.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is a long-needed change. In some cases, the old rule will have acted as an obstacle against marriage. There will be cases where both husband and wife's families want their name to be kept.

My wife kept her name but changed it to mine through the family court when we had children.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Meiyouwenti..... Yes you can have your own entry in family registry. I know this as I have one. The wife and I are both listed with different family names...and I’m head of the household! Woohoo..... However, I am a benevolent dictator! :)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Ahh, such binary American thinking. "Either of them can change their name, or they don't get married".

You are taking my comments out of context. I simply stated that women have choices and the government isn't making them do anything. Japanese women are not forced to change their surnames to be married. The exact same thing is true for men. There is nothing unfair about that - it is completely neutral when it comes to sex. The choice is up to those two individuals who love each other and decide to marry. I was not inferring that the law forced people not to get married. That inference comes from your imagination.

Exactly right Wolfpack!   It seems that person is truly an American binary thinker, but obviously with an intense imagination, while taking other's comments out of context People are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The law that requires married couples to have the same surname is not itself discriminatory. Men can adopt their wives’ surname if they so wish.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Another example of people following the RULES rather than the RULES following what's actually happening.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

This is awesome. In four generations the kids can have 16 last names.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@garypen

I found that in the Netherlands dual citizenship are only allowed to people from Middle-East, Refugees and those married to Dutch Citizen. Others must renounce own passport. Worse, their Gov. take away automatically Dutch citizenship from Native born Dutch in Netherlands who didn't live in the country for 10 years. I guess they have another citizenship while living abroad because one cannot leave someone stateless

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No issue either way for me, but the Japanese would do well to avoid those awful hyphenated surnames that seem to be all the rage in the West these days.

Right? We used to know a couple whose pre-marriage names were Smith and Johnson. After marriage, one of them changed to Smith-Johnson, and the other one to Johnson-Smith. And, to add icing to the cake, their child's last name was Smith-Johnson-Smith!!! Or, maybe it was Johnson-Smith-Johnson. Either way, it was pretentious nonsense.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Ahh, such binary American thinking. "Either of them can change their name, or they don't get married".

You are taking my comments out of context. I simply stated that women have choices and the government isn't making them do anything. Japanese women are not forced to change their surnames to be married. The exact same thing is true for men. There is nothing unfair about that - it is completely neutral when it comes to sex. The choice is up to those two individuals who love each other and decide to marry. I was not inferring that the law forced people not to get married. That inference comes from your imagination.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The evidence however showed that in 96% of cases the female is the one who actually changes her name. So while the text itself is gender neutral, the actual effect of the rule is not.

The effect is not up to the government - it's up to the couples involved. If you do not like the outcome then you do not like the choices the women made. That's your problem - not theirs.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Face the truth and don’t trick yourself, if the two partners can’t even find that one name together for their new family they probably also won’t find the way to walk together during their marriage.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Face the truth and don’t trick yourself, if the two partners can’t even find that one name together for their new family they probably also won’t find the way to walk together during their marriage.

Wide-scale epidemiological studies have found that there is only one indicator always indicative of upcoming divorce - a hyphenated last. (Alternate) fact!!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@girl_in_tokyo: I'm not sure how allowing the couple to take the woman's last name or to have different names breaks family bonds and creates a situation where the parents ignore their children and leave them to look after themselves. Perhaps you can outline this process, and show us all how that works, exactly?

The choice of what last name one chooses is not wholly what I was referring to although it is part and parcel with the overall point I was making in supporting another posters opinion. Let's be clear, all women in Japan have the choice of what their last name will be. No woman or man is forced to change their names. They are not forced to marry either. Having a different last name from the child does serve to disassociate the chief from their parents. A couple with different names doesn't encourage unity. Raising children with a name separate from one of their parents, or both if the name is hyphenated, doesn't do anything for the child's status within the family. This is the point with the Left. It is deep within the Left's ideology to loosen the connections within families and broaden them within the community (ie. "the village"). The Left see this as an improvement in the human condition. Others see if as the root of social disunity.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Why the minimalist "either or" option? Why not allow for combined names, the length of which would help Suga move towards his Hanko-free goal. Couples could also be allowed to come up with a new name. It's common to rebrand organizations or products, so why not couples?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

My wife of over 20 years still uses, registered under her Ex husband family name. The rules are followed but not practical. Certainally not the the 2020 beautiful Japan we all want.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

No issue either way for me, but the Japanese would do well to avoid those awful hyphenated surnames that seem to be all the rage in the West these days.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

KnowBetter Today 08:19 am JST

Why is Japan so against dual citizenship?

To my mind, only a country that is not attractive enough for single citizenship will settle for dual. For example, the Russian Federation now allows for dual citizenship. It's not exactly anyone's favorite place to emigrate to.

Citizenship is nominally the highest rank of resident, so to speak. A country IMO should not give these out "like candy" to foreigners, because it is a promise by that country to treat the foreigner in principle exactly like a native without reservation, to bar no doors to it where an ordinary native may be able to go.

In return, it should be able to expect the new citizen to, when push comes to shove, prioritize his "new country" over any other country. Can we reasonably expect a "dual citizen" to do that?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Further weakening marriage by not respecting the bond made, and exemplified, by taking on your spouse’s last name is just another nail in the societal coffin.

They think breaking family bonds is progress. Who needs a family when the village can take care of your family. That leaves parents free to pursue their own happiness. They forget that when all of the adults are looking out for themselves no one is left to look after the children.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@zichiToday 06:58 pm JST

tens of thousands of people carrying a Japanese passport and that of their birth country.

Though I could probably get away with a similar arrangement, I have only a Japanese passport.

There are also people who could claim citizenship of more than three countries. Three in my case.

All right. When push comes to shove, which of those three countries' interests will you place on top? Then ask yourself whether you deserve citizenship in the runner-ups. I mean, yeah, clearly they let you I guess, but you aren't willing to put them on top.

@garypen Today 08:29 pm JST

Your mind would be wrong.

OK, I confess. I didn't check Wiki on that one.

It's like having a girlfriend or boyfriend who demands you get rid of the dog or wants you to stay home with them instead of going out with your friends. It's needy and childish.

Wait. So you analogize citizenship as a girl/boyfriend on one side and a dog / friend on the other? If you aren't willing to treat all your citizenships as equal, do you really deserve those citizenships that you value as dog / friend versus girl/boyfriend?

I think most girl/boyfriends won't mind dogs or friends in your life. Another boy/girlfriend on the other hand...

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Sadly our generation has been afflicted with a piece of defective public policy, Marriage Deconstructionism. Forcing ordinary citizens to speak and act as though same-sex unions, polygamous unions, incestuous unions, pedophilia unions, bestial unions are all equal with marriage is societal suicide.

Further weakening marriage by not respecting the bond made, and exemplified, by taking on your spouse’s last name is just another nail in the societal coffin.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Why?

It just leads to confusion.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

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