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Tokyo ward rejects couple's marriage registry under separate surnames

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I mean... The ward did the right thing by upholding the current law and deferred then to the justice system where they could get an exception ruling in their favour. What a non article.

-14 ( +19 / -33 )

Nothing current about a provision from 1898 haha

20 ( +37 / -17 )

Hello there

Today 07:04 am JST

Nothing current about a provision from 1898 haha

You are so funny (sarcastic)

The law is valid even if it outdated. To change a law a long process of approval need to be taken.

-17 ( +15 / -32 )

They look like a nice couple

34 ( +38 / -4 )

Nothing current about a provision from 1898 haha

It's more than 100 years and Japan still continue that.

15 ( +29 / -14 )

Perhaps voters should elect politicians eager to change the law.

32 ( +38 / -6 )

ebisen

Today 06:55 am JST

I mean... The ward did the right thing by upholding the current law and deferred then to the justice system where they could get an exception ruling in their favour. What a non article

Except all wards, all cities, all levels of government and business in Japan suddenly have amnesia about the law when a Foreigner and a Japanese get Married and decide to keep their separate names.

My first wife keep her maiden name, my late wife also as does my current wife, all fully legal (apparently) I haven't changed names.

My children have their mother's surname in Japan!

Isn't it funny how the Japanese suddenly become very open and practical when it is Gaijin/Japanese!?!?

12 ( +27 / -15 )

A great example of a law, that’s not right. Or has any relevance in a modern society.

22 ( +29 / -7 )

Antiquesaving - it should be sure obvious, but if it isn't: that's in order to prevent a Japanese name from disappearing - it gives the Japanese wife the option to keep her name instead of forcing her to a gaijin(your words, not mine) name.

-21 ( +8 / -29 )

I’d suggest the couple go back to New York and live there happily ever after rather than keep wasting their time here.

-18 ( +9 / -27 )

Except all wards, all cities, all levels of government and business in Japan suddenly have amnesia about the law when a Foreigner and a Japanese get Married and decide to keep their separate names.

Pretty much this. Can you imagine if they allowed Japanese people to have foreign family names?

@ebisen. That's the problem, the xenophobic exception.

1 ( +16 / -15 )

Oh even if two foreign couples get married in Japan they make the wife take the husband’s name. It’s only if it’s a Japanese and foreigner where you can keep separate names. My ex had to take my name and it was a pain because on any form she had to write out 4 different names.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Is it 2022 or 1922 in Japan?

This situation comes about because of the ancient paper based system that does not allow having two names on the registry.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

Or they could just start using different names, nobody checks these things unless you bring it to their attention.

And as for mixed marriage it’s the same thing, nobody knows how to deal with the paperwork so they ignore it and the law to maintain this perception of Wa.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Pretty much this. Can you imagine if they allowed Japanese people to have foreign family names

Aahhh they do!

You have the choice!

I know several Japanese women that opted to take their foreign husband's name.

Yes I see it as a bit strange calling them "Yoko Smith, etc...) But they have that option.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Antiquesaving

Wow I have read a lot of "strange" things here but justifying racist policies as "preserving" a name in.....

You should first learn what racism is, before throwing the word out like this. The current law gives a Japanese marrying to a foreigner the option to keep their current name and not have a common "family" name. For your education, that is open xenophobia, not racism. Have you ever seen anywhere the claim that Japan is not openly xenophobic (besides also being openly racist, again, not the point of this issue).

If it ever makes your feel better, a mixed nationality couple marrying outside Japan can even have the same name in the other country and register under different names in Japan. If you stop and THINK for a second (difficult, I know) having children of mixed origin go under a Japanese name in Japan prevents them from being discriminated at face value (for example while applying for a job - where it has happened so often in the past).

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Gaijinjland

Today 07:42 am JST

Oh even if two foreign couples get married in Japan they make the wife take the husband’s name. It’s only if it’s a Japanese and foreigner where you can keep separate names. My ex had to take my name and it was a pain because on any form she had to write out 4 different names

Nope no idea who you were dealing with, but I know several people that got married in Japan foreigner to foreigner it usually goes by your country's policy.

I know 2 Canadian+ Canadian couples and one Canadian to Serbian couple all registered in Tokyo all kept their own surnames based on the fact one was from Canada.

Yes you may need a note explaining this from the embassy to the city.

In places like Quebec no one changes their names it is no longer done by law, ( you can it you have to pay and do it in court) so to change names in Japan when getting married causes major legal problems especially with passports.

Your situation sounds strange and I imagine it has something to do with your countries of origin and their laws.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Or they could just start using different names, nobody checks these things unless you bring it to their attention.

Guess you havent lived in Japan. It matters a lot, and even without bringing it to anyone's attention!

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

The law IS unconstitutional as Japanese citizens married to foreign nationals have the option of keeping their surname or adopting their spouses.

In effect the law, as it is, is discriminatory to Japanese citizens as they do not have the option of choosing.

(It's also discriminatory as it is another "message" that foreigners are not equal to Japanese!)

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Critics say the provision originating from the 1898 Civil Code reflects the traditional concept of marriage as an arrangement involving families rather than individuals. Usually, a woman leaves her family to become part of her husband's family.

The Supreme Court ruled the provision as constitutional in 2021.

Proof that Japan is backwards- and more than a century worth.

Is it 2022 or 1922 in Japan?

Apparently, they haven't gotten to 1922 yet. They're still locked in 1898

Pretty much this. Can you imagine if they allowed Japanese people to have foreign family names

My wife uses my surname Rustom.

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

It's sorta funny. When I married my Japanese wife in Japan, we couldn't decide what last name we wanted to use. The city hall clerk said to not worry that we could decide later. So we kept separate last names. Later when we went back to choose one, we were told that we had to amend it within a certain time period and that the time period had passed. So rather than going to court, we just kept separate last names for the last 25 years.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

ebisen

Today 07:51 am JST

Wow this is the first time I have seen someone try defending racism by saying it is really xenophobia as if that is any better!

You are precious!

4 ( +15 / -11 )

Yubaru

Today 07:56 am JST

The law IS unconstitutional as Japanese citizens married to foreign nationals have the option of keeping their surname or adopting their spouses.

> In effect the law, as it is, is discriminatory to Japanese citizens as they do not have the option of choosing.

> (It's also discriminatory as it is another "message" that foreigners are not equal to Japanese!

Yes that is what I was thinking.

That was the way the foreign mother's of Japanese children got the supreme Court to rule in their favour and the right to remain in Japan.

Instead of claiming it discriminates again them they argued it discriminated against the Japanese children depriving them of their mother by making them leave.

The courts agreed.

In this case the argument should be " if mixed couples are permitted" then telling non mixed couples they cannot give the mixed marriaged couple a right other Japanese don't get.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

the provision originating from the 1898

I’m sure there are some diet members that were there at the original signing of this law in 1898, STILL in office in 2022.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

The smile on his face TELLS IT ALL.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Guess you havent lived in Japan. It matters a lot, and even without bringing it to anyone's attention!

true, been here 20 years and learned not to tell anything I don’t have too., very quickly and if I’m caught it’s a letter of apology and a bow. And I’m on my way. It matters not at all.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Antiquesaving: I wasn't defending, I was just telling it, matter of fact-ish how it is.

BTW, if this law is racism then everything is racism. In fact what it does, it discriminates Japanese against Japanese citizens (if you marry the gaijin (btw, again, your racist words, not mine) you suddenly get the right to keep your Japanese name is you so wish). That is NOT racism (as Japanese can be of different races) but openly admitting to xenophobia. But it's still legal, as nobody loses any rights. If a Japanese marries a gaijin (your words, not mine) they gain that option (at least that's how it's legally justified)

Aaaaanyway - if the Japanese themselves couldn't care enough to change this law, it's going to stay like this for a while...

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Cricky

Today 08:10 am JST

I have been here over 30 years.

See a lot worked in many places, been married 3 times divorced once buried one and am happily married again.

So when I say I have see a lot I do mean a lot, had to deal with schools on my own, government on my own, funerals, weddings, more funerals more government paperwork, etc...

Companies like my wife's (fully Japanese) and companies like that of my ex-wife's ( European) had policies permitting women that got married to continue using their maiden names (despite the government forced changing).

Unfortunately the government has now started cracking down on this, and in both cases the company's have been told to officially stop this practice and to only use the name on the "My number" card or face fines.

Not only is Japanese not advancing it it actually going backwards.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

What's the big deal? Change, Keep, Switch, whatever. We don't need the government to tell us what we can do and not do with our own names and relationships.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Interesting to see that these kinds of basic human rights about something that should be purely between the husband and the wife can still be up for discussion in "conservative" Japan.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

ANTIQUESAVING

I get it, it’s driven enforced by government pressure on companies. You have had some bad luck I feel for you. I have 3 kids 4 grandchildren and I have drilled into them if you don’t want to be a number don’t give them your name. The less they know the happier you can be.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I wonder how "compulsory" single surname supporters would react to the fact that the foreign residents can keep the maiden name after their marriage with the Japanese partner. That's exactly an unfair privilege for gaijin they loathe, no?

For another crucial point, under the current rule, half of the surnames would be under threat of extinction for marriage. For the large majority of Japanese are nuclear families, many of whom have only one child. While many single surname supporters stress the tradition, I wonder if they are considering the continuity crisis of ie or house.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don’t understand why so many people make a problem out of nothing here, or even initiate kind of little gender equality war by this topic. Just use common sense , and done. If the two of a couple set much more priorities to their family names , they shouldn’t marry. And if they set more priority to found a new family and showing the will to live together and share the common future way, then they should easily choose one name out of the two former ones and name their new family such and fix it by a marriage and ceremony. What’s so difficult to understand or abide with that?

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

true, been here 20 years and learned not to tell anything I don’t have too., very quickly and if I’m caught it’s a letter of apology and a bow. And I’m on my way. It matters not at all.

You are talking about your own minimal experience and extrapolating it to include ALL Japanese who are married.

IF you have lived here for 20 years, you should know by now that not everyone has the same experiences as you did.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The Supreme Court ruled the provision as constitutional in 2021.

In fact, the Supreme Court also suggested that it is a very matter for the legislative and executive branches, not for the judiciary, about reforms and applications. The issue should be brought to the Diet for deliberation.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

noriahojanen

Today 08:49 am JST

The Supreme Court ruled the provision as constitutional in 2021.

> In fact, the Supreme Court also suggested that it is a very matter for the legislative and executive branches, not for the judiciary, about reforms and applications. The issue should be brought to the Diet for deliberation

The problem with that challenge was it was based on a woman claiming it discriminates again her as a woman.

The court pointed out that the man can change name instead.

But had the challenge been made based on the fact a Japanese marrying a foreign gets to keep their surname, then it becomes obvious that the law is unconstitutional and the choice would be to remove the right of the Japanese married to a foreigner the right to keep their surname or to grant the rest of Japan the same right to not change.

This was the argument to permit the non Japanese mother's to remain in Japan, by forcing the non Japanese mother (or father) to leave it discriminated against the Japanese child to have their parents present like full Japanese couples.

The challenge was based on the wrong point

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I’m a foreigner married to a Japanese, so I’m allowed to keep my name. It causes zero problems in our day to day life. Why can’t Japanese have the same privilege? Divorce is becoming very popular in recent times, so is remarriage. It is very troublesome to change your name again, in passports, banks, family registration, tax, insurance, health insurance, the list goes on and will take at least a month off work to jump through all the hoops and rings.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Part of the reason marriage rates are plummeting. I have 4 middle aged brothers and only one is married.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

They weren't married in Japan so what do they expect.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Marriage in the USA has a different meaning than in Japan.

People in the USA get Married frivolously and on a whim or perhaps a drunken party vacation to las Vegas.

Marriage is companionship in Japan

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

The United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has recommended that Japan change the system.

Unfortunately this is just another of the issues with equality and matters concerning the family where Japan has absolutely no intention to join the rest of the world and come to the 21st century.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

and yet it's ok for a Japanese spouse of a foreigner to not take their name and keep separate surnames.....I know of a few couples who have done this.....of course, THAT is ok. We don't want our Japanese women with pesky foreign names!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I wonder if any of the local policymakers read aloud some of their rules and do a double take on how absurd and asinine it sounds. This restriction on Japanese couples not being able to keep their own last names is so antiquated and nonsensical, it's laughable. Hi, Japan. You do realize it's now the 21st century right? Would it really kill you to get with the times and let the people decide matters that concern them themselves without the imposition of nonsense laws that have no basis in logic?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Marriage in the USA has a different meaning than in Japan.

People in the USA get Married frivolously and on a whim or perhaps a drunken party vacation to las Vegas.

Marriage is companionship in Japan

Absolute codswallop! Marriage is a contract in Japan, is what is EXPECTED. Many many couples are locked into marriage here with little companionship.......husband is at work from early morning to late at night, sleeps when he gets home gets up early and rinse repeat. Wife is lonely at home looking after the kids and when the kids flee the nest, an empty house for her. Husband is transferred to other side of the country and lives in company dormitory, whiling his time away at local snack bar and eating cup ramen. Wife and kids are in the family home slowly drifting away from the male figure that once was called Husband and Father.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Absurd statement with generalizations for both countries that are hardly worth the time to respond.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Law from 1898...right.

No further comments required.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Legally dancing at clubs at night is still a recent thing in Japan. It was illegal not even a whole decade ago.

That's how slow things move here. Japan's still dragging their feet into the 21st century.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

YubaruToday  08:49 am

You are talking about your own minimal experience and extrapolating it to include ALL Japanese who are married.

Minimal? so are you, I have my experience as do you it’s not a contest about who is better. All options are based on personal experience. You can’t claim your experience makes you thinking better than anyones, I have an opinion as do you. It’s just an opinion neither right or wrong it’s just a personal opinion.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Part of the reason marriage rates are plummeting. I have 4 middle aged brothers and only one is married.

Hesitancy may be an inhibiting factor against marriage. The Japanese society and rulers used to treat the surname as a mere symbol or reference for house/community membership. People thus changed their names more frequently than not as they switched their belonging community, or got through significant life events such as marriage, adoption, promotion or retirement. Such was more common and reasonable at that time.

Now I argue that the meaning of the surname has since altered to becoming an invaluable personal identity. Aside from a matter of convenience, older and unmarried individuals who spend a long time using their own maiden name can develop attachment to it, or hesitate to change it for marriage. I'm afraid that the current rules or constitutional interpretation don't reflect this emerging background.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Marriage in the USA has a different meaning than in Japan.

People in the USA get Married frivolously and on a whim or perhaps a drunken party vacation to las Vegas.

Marriage is companionship in Japan

Ha! You should get out from under that rock where you live and see the real world. You might get shocked when you see how different things are.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

And if they set more priority to found a new family and showing the will to live together and share the common future way, then they should easily choose one name out of the two former ones and name their new family such and fix it by a marriage and ceremony. What’s so difficult to understand or abide with that?

Some single children in Japan are told to keep their family name. Their parents will only consent to marriage if the family name lives on. This can apply to daughters as well as sons. Such people are adults of course, and can ultimately go against their parents' and/or grandparents' wishes, but should it really be necessary? I do not think the law should place limits on people's pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness or force them into unnecessary confrontations with their families. The law should be their protect people in trouble, and not cause trouble itself.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Supreme Court ruled the provision as constitutional in 2021.

Adding to my previous post, the 2021 verdict is not unanimous. Four judges (out of 15 in total) showed dissenting views. All full statements are published in the article below:

夫婦同姓「不当な国家介入」 最高裁判事4人が違憲判断

https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASP6R56BLP6RUTIL044.html

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Their country..

Their laws..

Their customes..

Their marriages..

Get used to it people..

Let Japan be Japan..

I love you the way you are..

-23 ( +4 / -27 )

@TokyoLiving

You do understand that the couple who challenges the law is Japanese, do you???

Get used to it people..

Getting used to what exactly? Reading articles about how even the Japanese people hate their own legal system? I guess we can all do that.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Way back when we got married my wife didn't have the option of adopting my surname—she was forced to retain her maiden name (although I imagine she did not want to be called kitty)

5 ( +6 / -1 )

anything wrong with that?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Korean and Chinese societies, not to mention many others, haven't crumbled simply because they let women keep their surnames after marriage.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@Shiekh yerboaby

Lets agree to disagree !

because neither of us know all the marriages in Japan as that is physically impossible.

My marriage is absolutely nothing like you describe in your pessimistic ambiguous comment.

Do Japanese frivolously get married in a drunken las vegas type scenario ? ?

The average USA marriage according to internet research lasts only a few months or years compared to Japanese marriages.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

@ almakukac

He doesn't. Typical foreigner who wants to be more Japanese than Japanese and I met a lot in the last two decades.

Japanese want to live with law of nowaday, not another century but dinosaur politicians are worst than virus and live a very longtime and never mute as well their son...

@noriahojanen

Thank you for sharing.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Eastman

Today 11:04 am JST

anything wrong with that?

Yes they don't want to!

It should be their choice, it is their life, their marriage so their choice.

Does the government tell them where to have their wedding, does it tell them who to invite, is the government paying for it? No!

So why should the government decided what names they must use?

Now the financial costs!

Over 35% of marriages in Japan end in divorce so the government pays to change all the woman's ( let's be realistic it is 99% the women that change) then when they divorce under the new laws they can return to their maiden name.

So the Passport, Koseki, Jyumin, the passport, driver's licence, My number card, credit cards, etc... All need to be returned to the maiden name if requested ( which today is the vast majority).

So we pay to change then name when they get married then pay again when they divorce.

Sounds like a lot of waste time and money.

My ex-wife didn't care to advertise she was previously married so imagine had she been forced to take my surname it would have be very clear she was once married and to a Gaijin!

Why not just save the trouble and money and no one change!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Do Japanese frivolously get married in a drunken las vegas type scenario ? ?

Guess you never heard of a Narita divorce!

Look it up!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Law is law, a negligible percentage of complaint will not change the law unless its creating bunch of serious problems. Maybe in future same couple will fight in the same court about child with double surname because they were allowed to kept two surnames(who knows).

Couples who register their marriage in Japan generally choose the husband's surname, making the issue a matter of gender equality.

Author trying to gather some support from gender equality...LOL

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Law is law, a negligible percentage of complaint will not change the law unless its creating bunch of serious problems. Maybe in future same couple will fight in the same court about child with double surname because they were allowed to kept two surnames(who knows).

According to the infromation of the article it doesn't seem the couple wanted to change that law just by trying to register their marriage, but only as a step so when it is rejected they can file a complain and follow from there.

This is one way society changes, by individual challenges to laws that people consider outdated or contradictory with their constitutional rights. In a way it can serve as an excuse for change when people on high positions have already caught with the times and recognize the validity of the challenge.

Not likely in Japan of course.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

There are professional reasons for couples to retain their family names separately. Professional licenses (engineers, medical doctors, lawyers, etc) and in the case of film workers, they are professionally known by those other names.

As people get married later or re-married much later in life, they will have work contacts who only know them under the name they've used for decades.

Japan's laws should be changed. It isn't like Japanese women are barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen, right?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

On the women’s rights issue, when my male foreign friend got divorced, he had to pay a kink of fine, ¥4.5 million. When I broke up with a girlfriend back in day, in my home country, after she had and affair and we had cohabited together for three years without marriage, I had to give her half of all my assets.

this name thing should include on divorce, the women gets half, and to keep her real name.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A Japanese couple who kept their own surnames when they got married in the United States were told by a Tokyo ward office Monday that their marriage could not be registered using the two different names.

Nevertheless, they are married. They got married in the US (or elsewhere, for that matter). You can say that gay marriages aren't recognized everywhere, but they are married. Congratulations to them!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They're in a good position to prod this necessary change along. Good luck to them. It's time for a change.

It's really rather funny that it's okay for non-Japanese and mixed couples to have different surnames, but oh noes ... Japanese couples can't do that, because REASONS.

There's no logic to it; it's merely tradition. And tradition is nothing but peer pressure from dead people.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

There's no logic to it; it's merely tradition. And tradition is nothing but peer pressure from dead people.

Well put. I've heard the reasoning that if separare surnames are allowed, Japanese culture as we know it will cease to exist, which begs the question, "What does that even mean?"

Unfortunately, these beliefs are held by many of those who actually have a say in the matter.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

just fax your paperwork in and we will hanko it later. Japan on the cutting edge

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

From the photo they look very nice people and their reason is right,but as mentioned by many Japan is not defined by logic or logic changes but to keep traditions,even if these traditions are out of date or with little sense in these days.

I would say to this lovely couple to either live with it,because to change something here it takes at least decades or to move back to the US or some other western country which accept their reason.

And yes,this is an absurb and even racist rule to keep the name divided only if a national Japanese marries a foreigner,

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I disagree with them but you will probably find that most Japanese agree with the one family name rule.

Japan is very conservative.. especially outside the big cities, and the old.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

My Japanese wife and i dont care about who's name we have or don't have or if we change it.

The most important thing is we are together.

It's called unconditional devotion .

I respect the fact that other people's marriages are not all founded the same and thats their choice.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Well put. I've heard the reasoning that if separare surnames are allowed, Japanese culture as we know it will cease to exist, which begs the question, "What does that even mean?"

And here is a very logical counter to that idea.

In Quebec no one changes names anymore, one reason was cost, all the (generally) woman's info needed to be changed ( no charge) then in the case of divorce the woman has the right to request everything be changed back to before (again no charge and that is now also the position of the Japanese government on returning to one's maiden name)

But the other reason was intermarriage with non Francophones and losing the French heritage (example my family name is Scottish despite 400 years being Francophones) but the idea that both parties retain their birth names and the children can have either name was hoping that people would choose the French name.

My children are raised in Japan, I chose to give them the Japanese name even in Canada.

My sister chose her husband's surname for the children, my brother went with his wife's name.

So having the ability to choose is a far greater option to preserving culture and heritage, my children's mother's side has no male heirs to continue the family name,

Luckily she married a Gaijin (me) so both my children took her family name now everyone is happy.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Some cities in Japan allow separate surnames. Japan has a long way to go with this. Japanese banks still don't allow joint accounts, they still have heads of households, some people with names using three kanji can't fill out forms properly, etc. By the way, what is the purpose of half-width katakana, and half-width alphanumeric characters? Do they think full-size characters won't fit in the computer storage? The DX revolution can't come soon enough.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

By the way, what is the purpose of half-width katakana, and half-width alphanumeric characters? Do they think full-size characters won't fit in the computer storage?

Full-sized characters took double (or maybe 50% more, I'm not clear) more storage than half-width characters. In the early days of computing, this was a consideration that needed to be made. Of course now, it doesn't matter whatsoever. But it used to matter a lot.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Good. Families should share the same surname. Stop messing around.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

A Japanese couple who kept their own surnames when they got married in the United States were told by a Tokyo ward office Monday that their marriage could not be registered using the two different names.

The US has its laws; Japan has its own.

There are many legal acts in which I can engage in the US or other countries, but not apply those same acts in Japan.

Most prospective tourists to Japan are allowed to travel out of their own countries and back; doesn't mean they are automatically allowed to enter into Japan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

What's there to challenge? Is the law not clearly worded?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Anyway couples have to choose between the two names, can't combine them?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Critics say the provision originating from the 1898 Civil Code reflects the traditional concept of marriage as an arrangement involving families rather than individuals. Usually, a woman leaves her family to become part of her husband's family.

This is a bit inaccurate. Under the current civil code (postwar revised), the newly wed couple shall create a new house or family under a single name, independently of their parental houses (to say precisely 戸籍, house registry). So it's technically possible and legal for the person named A and the other named B to get married under the new surname C. But C only for them.

Customarily, most Japanese couples just continue to use one of their maiden names upon their marriage. But again the marriage doesn't mean that one joins the other's family by dropping its maiden name. The current law considers a nuclear family as a basic unit, and doesn't necessarily care about the succession or vertical continuity of a house.

It's very important to note that the proposed separate surname policy for married couples is optional. The couple who prefer a single surname can continue to do so freely, and their rights shall never be abused. In other words, the proposal will assure their single surname tradition under an emerging diverse society.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What’s the fuss. You divorce, you 're back to your original surname.

Oh wait... better start clarifying legal status of marriage. Right?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Back to the past, all I can say.

So old-fashioned in many aspects!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

having children of mixed origin go under a Japanese name in Japan prevents them from being discriminated 

In our case, it was the other way round. My wife and I married before the law change in 1985, and she had no option but to keep her Japanese name on her koseki (i.e. her legal name). But she used my name for everyday things (we're old fashioned, I guess). After our daughter was born, she went on her mum's koseki and so her official name was the same as her mum's, but was known to friends and neighbors by my name. Before she started school, my wife was worried that she might be teased if her official name on the school register was different from how she was generally known. So we went through the family court process to get her her own koseki under my name (although in katakana). It wasn't too difficult.

I found that although the law might be fairly rigid, those administering it could be flexible. For example, on my wife's passport, it has her legal name, but my surname is appended in parentheses. And when she was in hospital once, she was known by my surname to staff, but her own "legal" name was on her health insurance card. She found this awkward, so she had me go to the ward office to see if I could get the name changed on the card. The guy at the counter, said something like, "So you want to change the name on card from X to Y?" When I said yes, he picked up a pencil, scored out her name, wrote in mine, and handed the card back.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Critics say the provision originating from the 1898 Civil Code reflects the traditional concept of marriage as an arrangement involving families rather than individuals. Usually, a woman leaves her family to become part of her husband's family.

The Supreme Court ruled the provision as constitutional in 2021.

Proof that Japan is backwards- and more than a century worth.

Is it 2022 or 1922 in Japan?

Apparently, they haven't gotten to 1922 yet. They're still locked in 1898

Pretty much this. Can you imagine if they allowed Japanese people to have foreign family names

My wife uses my surname Rusto

My wife also adopted my last name.

Marterosario, now I think people should have the option of using whatever name they wish, at the sametime

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The law needs to be respected, if you want to change the law, the follow the procedure, I don't thing that trying to impose the laws and views of you former country is correct, then why did you move to Japan ?

Sure I don't agree with plenty of laws in here, but I knew what they where before I decided to stay here with my family, I could easily move back to either the U.S or my original country Dominican Republic. But I decided to stay here, the U.S is to divided, and D.R I underdeveloped, so I make my peace that I might no agree with every law, but is better than the alternative.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Esteban Marterosario

Today 07:14 pm JST

The law needs to be respected, if you want to change the law, the follow the procedure, I don't thing that trying to impose the laws and views of you former country is correct, then why did you move to Japan ?

Can you imagine if women took your advice when the law said women couldn't vote!

You should look up things like suffragettes!

You may learn something.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

kennyG

Today 05:54 pm JST

What’s the fuss. You divorce, you 're back to your original surname.

Spoken like a man that never expects to change his name.

Have you ever lost a credit card, perhaps your passport, or driver's license?

A pain going to get a new passport or driver's license.

Now multiply that by every form of ID you have, every bank account, every contract, health insurance, credit cards, my number card, Koseki, Jyumin, etc....

Starting to see the problem?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Come to Japan, where it's 1921 all over again, come get some "cool biz" while you're at it!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I have an acquaintance who is an internationally acclaimed artist and still uses the name of her first husband although she has been married three times. She first entered the world of art with that name and says if she updates it she will totally lose her identity. I imagine there are many in Japan who would suffer the same fate if they accepted their husband's name.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Critics say the provision originating from the 1898 Civil Code reflects the traditional concept of marriage as an arrangement involving families rather than individuals. Usually, a woman leaves her family to become part of her husband's family.

The Supreme Court ruled the provision as constitutional in 2021.

The concept of marriage as a woman leaving her family to join her husband's family (or vice versa) no longer reflects reality. So, despite the recent Supreme Court decision, it is likely to be changed, perhaps not too distant future. Polls show that younger generations overwhelmingly do not support the existing law.

"Do you think we should keep the law?": Yes (or No)

19-29 yrs old: 19.8% (50.2%)

30-39 yrs old: 13.6% (52.5%)

40-49 yrs old: 15.6% (49.9%)

50-59 yrs old: 19.1% (48.2%)

60-69 yrs old: 33.0% (41.0%)

70 yrs or older: 52.3% (28.1%)

Besides, this current law (using a common surname) was introduced only in 1898, previously, both husbands and wives were allowed to keep their own surnames. And most Japanese people did not even have surnames at all before Meiji.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A case of look B4 you leap. Traditions die hard no matter what country upholds them. These are Japanese Citizens married under American law requesting acceptance under Japanese Laws. The United Nations can request Japan or any other member of the UN to change the Traditions however their batting Averages on getting conformity with their requests todate have been petty Dismal. Worldwide marriages between a man & a woman have always been Traditionally viewed as the woman becoming a member of the spouse’s family nucleus. If it’s Absolutely Imperative that they keep their own surnames the option of filing a N-400 request for American Citizenship is always Open.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Spoken like a man that never expects to change his name.

Have you ever lost a credit card, perhaps your passport, or driver's license?

A pain going to get a new passport or driver's license.

Now multiply that by every form of ID you have, every bank account, every contract, health insurance, credit cards, my number card, Koseki, Jyumin, etc....

Starting to see the problem?

Spoken like a man that never move his address in his life? Is that it? not really

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The UN should respect a country’s ways. There is nothing degrading nor discriminatory about taking a new married name.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

One is one thing, another is another

Can you please stop forcing the American way on us?

If you don't like the Japanese way, you can continue to live in America.

Japan has its own way of doing things, and that is diversity in the true sense of the word.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Bobby

"If you don't like it, leave your country of birth."

An interesting take on an already hateful statement. The neat thing is that two strangers keeping their surnames doesn't affect those who don't want to do so. Doesn't look like it's the couple who is forcing their way of doing things on others.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has recommended that Japan change the system.

Gee The United Nations... all those such inept committees. Yes You 've got to prove doing something as you are elected and being paid by world-wide bloody tax money. Do you possibly have a sense of priority to work and prove itself with why nations are to be united??

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has ever made recommendations to

*all those Arabic nations? See What I mean? How bout to South Korea where you rather customarily MUST separate surnames between wedding couples? Do you even know why?*

Nations are not united at all, don't try to pick easy targets just for pretending you are doing something good.

*
-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This guy Souda is famous (or notorious) enough to stand as a candidate to become a politician to change Japan as he likes. He seems liking always bashing Japan in Twitter or make sneak attacks like this rather than changing the law by himself. This is not only issue he has been long time claiming since he lived in the states.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Kyo wa heiwa dayo ne

"Marriage in the USA has a different meaning than in Japan.

People in the USA get Married frivolously and on a whim or perhaps a drunken party vacation to las Vegas.

Marriage is companionship in Japan"

Where in the world did you come up with this BS.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The law needs to be respected

Healthy democracies allow for laws to be challenged by the people upon whom they are applied. Expecting blind fealty is not healthy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japanese have their own high standards and it is only earning more respect for Japan. While the world is opening to the use of cannabis, the Japanese are still reluctant to its use, and hence fewer sales of bongs, bubblers, rigs, etc. happening at wholesale shops in Japan. Just like this is this case where traditions must be kept alive and both partners should use the same surname. https://luxeproductsusa.com/pages/wholesale

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Pretty much this. Can you imagine if they allowed Japanese people to have foreign family names?

Nonsense! Two Japanese have Mickelicious as their family name.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

More dinosaur politicians protecting more dinosaur laws.

Come on, Japanese people. Stand up and fight against these mindless dinosaurs!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don’t understand why so many people make a problem out of nothing here.... If the two of a couple set much more priorities to their family names , they shouldn’t marry.

Sven Asai -the problem is that people don't want to be forced to change their name unnecessarily. If it is such a non-problem, why hasn't the government changed this archaic law already?

And you can be willing to get married as well having legitimate concerns about this law.

The truth is, social conservatives will always find reasons not to change the law and to enforce the current one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese have their own high standards and it is only earning more respect for Japan.

The Japanese establishment has its own regressive standards and this results in Japan being held up for ridicule by the rest of the world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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