national

Okayama woman sues over 'sexist' marriage laws

83 Comments

A woman in her 20s is suing the Japanese government over marriage laws that she believes discriminate against women wishing to remarry.

The woman, who lives in Soja, Okayama Prefecture, has filed two lawsuits, according to a report on Fuji TV. The first concerns Article 733 of the Civil Code, which prohibits women from getting remarried within six months of the dissolution of the last marriage contract. One exception to the rule is when a woman is pregnant before the divorce. Under this condition, she can remarry after the birth of a child.

According to the Okayama District Court, the woman filing the suit was divorced in March 2008 and was forced to wait until October of the same year to marry her current husband. She is suing for 1.65 million in damages, claiming the Civil Code is discriminatory because the same articles do not apply to men.

The woman has also filed a second lawsuit concerning Article 772 of the Civil Code, which states that if a woman has a child within 300 days of getting divorced, the child will still be considered the legitimate offspring of her ex-husband. The woman had a daughter with her current husband but the Soja local government did not recognize the child as being the offspring of her current husband. As a result, the couple were unable to register their daughter's birth.

Both cases are currently at the appeal stage.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

83 Comments
Login to comment

I once had an issue with these pathetic medieval laws too. I wish her all the best in dragging the family law (parts of it at least) into to the 21st century.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Good luck to her 'current' husband and hope she "wins" both cases and gets enough publicity. (Partial sarcasm unavoidable).

-9 ( +3 / -11 )

all the best wishes to her, hope she wins big. it would be a win for all famlies.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Tokyokawasaki

Same here, especially with that disgusting stone-age law that says we WOMEN can't get married for 6 months after divorce, I was like: HUH?! Not that I would divorce Mr. BlueWitch but I was appalled at these DRACONIAN laws that they insist in keeping at all costs.

Article 772 of the Civil Code, which states that if a woman has a child within 300 days of getting divorced, the child will still be considered the legitimate offspring of her ex-husband. The woman had a daughter with her current husband but the Soja local government did not recognize the child as being the offspring of her current husband. As a result, the couple were unable to register their daughter’s birth.

This is repulsive, because it ONLY applies to women, NOT men. Aren't we equal under the eyes of "God"? Why do we have to subject and submit to such DISCRIMINATION/HATRED from this shameless and corrupted government?? These old stinky-grease OYAJI are living feudal times even today....How awful!

Male dominated Society?? Is there any pride on that?? Pfft...Shameful, very shameful in the eyes of the whole world. It wasn't until like 10 years ago that Domestic Violence laws came into effect...

1 ( +6 / -5 )

The first concerns Article 733 of the Civil Code, which prohibits women from getting remarried within six months of the dissolution of the last marriage contract

if a woman has a child within 300 days of getting divorced, the child will still be considered the legitimate offspring of her ex-husband.

Cry- Not-Loud, sounds like she only thinks about herself. The law was written like this is to protect an unborn child between two marriages. It takes a nano second, one sperm to get pregnant.

By the way, the US has similar laws like this. I am just curious if she is still married to her 2nd husband. Good luck.

-9 ( +1 / -9 )

Cry- Not-Loud, sounds like she only thinks about herself. The law was written like this is to protect an unborn child between two marriages. It takes a nano second, one sperm to get pregnant.

Do you know real Japanese History?? I guess NOT. Please refer to authentic Edo period chapters that talk about these "laws". These laws were passed to protect MEN from being cheated on, NOT to protect Children.

0 ( +4 / -3 )

She is lucky. The x-husband should be forced to register the child, and then forced to pay child support. She can get some good cash this way to take care of the child.

DNA testing to see who the real father is? Nah...this is Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I hope this is the first of many such law suits that call for equal rights for women in Japan.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

DNA testing to see who the real father is? Nah...this is Japan.

Very good point there, JapanGal~

Generally, DNA testing is not even considered for cases like this. I've been witness to a couple of cases where the suing parties had their requests denied due to the lack of support DNA testing receives in the courts under the current DRACONIAN laws. In fact, the ALL MIGHTY koseki tohon goes over DNA testing any day!!!! If you have the bad luck that your child got register under your former spouse's koseki.... you are in for it. Even when DNA tests proves that your baby is not your previous husband's, the city hall drones will tell you otherwise.

As a word of caution: If you are going through something like this or similar, DO NOT under any circumstances register the child at the City Hall, not until you can clear things out first.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I guess the 300 day rule is based on the absurd japanese notion that a pregnancy lasts 10 months. Lets say a man finds out his wife is having an affair with the guy next door. He gets a divorce then the woman finds she is carrying her lovers child. The ex-husband is legally the father! Madness!. Or they divorce and she gets pregnant to someone else in the first month. The ex is the father? Apregnancy last 270 days, NOT 300.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

These laws would be laughable if they weren't in fact true. Another thing that surprises me is that is has taken one young Rosa Parks from little old Okayama to challenge these laws. Does Japan not have a womens rights group to take on these archaic and frankly absurd laws? No female authors or legislators who are prominent enough to take a stand?

The role of women in this nation is grossly undervalued and Japans women, for better or worse have made an agreement to be undervalued.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

the absurd japanese notion that a pregnancy lasts 10 months

Pregnancy lasts on average 40 weeks, at 4 weeks per month, that's 10 months or 280 days. Some babies are born earlier, some later, and for a first baby especially 41 or 42 weeks is not exceptional. There's nothing absurd about rounding up to 300 when calculating how long a pregnancy might last.

What is absurd is assuming that a couple are going to be procreating right up to the day of the divorce. If a marriage is in that much trouble, it's more likely that any baby will not be the husband's.

2 ( +6 / -3 )

I guess the 300 day rule is based on the absurd japanese notion that a pregnancy lasts 10 months.

I know!! this outdated/ridiculous notion makes me: ROLL ON FLOOR LAUGHING~~~ but hey! they won't let go of it because it makes Japanese pregnancy "unique" over other countries pregnancies... LOL

By the way, As I'm typing this, I'm on my "10th MONTH" according to my doctor. =) Ready to deliver anytime I guess~

2 ( +5 / -4 )

What happens if she left the country, and got married in Hawaii before the 6 months waiting period? U.S. law recognize their marriage and if she takes the certificate back to Japan, will the J-goverment reject their marriage?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Do you know real Japanese History?? I guess NOT. Please refer to authentic Edo period chapters that talk about these "laws". These laws were passed to protect MEN from being cheated on, NOT to protect Children

Is this law written in Edo period?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Pregnancy lasts on average 40 weeks, at 4 weeks per month, that's 10 months or 280 days

Not really, the week has 7 days, 4 weeks would be 28 days, how many months have 28 days?? just one? yeah, that's what I thought, with all due respect, of course~

Unlike the Japanese month that has 4 weeks, 28 days, a "normal" month has between 30 and 31 days... I have 4 children, first one went for 42 weeks, same with the second, the third went for just 37 weeks... what does that tell you? 300 days a bit over the board. We are not talking about protecting the child, but rather protecting the former "husband" from being cheated, deceived, whatever~

It's NOT up to you or me to judge these women and their situations. If they really cheated and the child belongs to their lover, its their problem, but how many women were in fact legally separated 「別居」 and decided to continue their lives? Does that mean the baby must go on their former spouse's koseki no matter what?? Discrimination. DNA testing that's been refused over the KOSEKI.

Time to join the 21st century, meaning time to wipe out such draconian laws including the outdated koseki system.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Both cases are currently at the appeal stage.

What does this mean? She filed the lawsuits, they were rejected, and now she's appealing them?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

congrats blue witch!!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Is this law written in Edo period?

Honey, some of these laws date back as far as 130+ years ago and remain unchanged....Can you imagine? and that's considered average still, others are way older.

We are living in modern, different times....we need these laws to be updated as well. What worked during the Edo period, for example, might not work the same during our times. See my point?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

congrats blue witch!!!

ありがとうございます~ ^_^

Thank you so much, this is my 4th and last..(hopefully) but then again, I said the same thing on my previous 3. lol

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Both cases are currently at the appeal stage.

What does this mean? She filed the lawsuits, they were rejected, and now she's appealing them?

Exactly, my friend...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I guess the 300 day rule is based on the absurd japanese notion that a pregnancy lasts 10 months.

SimonB, the average pregnancy actually lasts 9 and a half months (40 weeks), and plenty of women go overdue, especially with their first baby, so 10 months is not so absurd, just because it is different from the notion you have grown up with. When I had my baby in April I had been pregnant for 285 days, so just as close to 300 days as 270. A friend of mine was 16 days overdue when she gave birth so had been pregnant for 296 days, and that is not unusual. With that figure the 300 days is perhaps not so absurd, is it, although I disagree with the law in principle.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Blue Witch, congrats on your upcoming event, it's not your first so I'm sure you're well prepared in every sense. Both my pregnancies were in summer, I know it can be very uncomfortable - hang in there!

42 weeks (which is not exceptional) is 294 days, which is only a wink and a blink away from 300. Not over the board at all, though obviously most pregnancies are (thankfully) shorter than that.

In the old days this kind of law was probably the only way to determine paternity. Nowadays we have more accurate methods, which could and should be used. Determining paternity and getting married are (should be) separate concerns.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And in the old style of counting, a woman was one month pregnant the moment she conceives, just as a baby used to be one year old the moment it's born.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Blue Witch, congrats on your upcoming event, it's not your first so I'm sure you're well prepared in every sense. Both my pregnancies were in summer, I know it can be very uncomfortable - hang in there!

Oh dear, I'm melting around the house and wishing to go into labor asap.. can't stand walking around with a 24/7 working oven for this little bun that won't stop kicking me~ hehe

42 weeks (which is not exceptional) is 294 days, which is only a wink and a blink away from 300. Not over the board at all, though obviously most pregnancies are (thankfully) shorter than that.

In the old days this kind of law was probably the only way to determine paternity. Nowadays we have more accurate methods, which could and should be used. Determining paternity and getting married are (should be) separate concerns.

I have to admit that. 42 weeks is pretty close to the 300 days, although most pregnancies nowadays are in between 38~40 weeks because of the numerous "medical interventions" at the hospital and the fear that it is imposed by the doctor on fetal distress, aging placenta , etc. Still, there are a few rare cases of 43 weeks pregnancies and those are definitely over 300 days!! actually 301 days to be exact.

I wish though, that these laws were all updated to fit in our current times and were more flexible when necessary. Not everybody cheats and I've known of some people suffering because of this. I feel for the children too of course! Hopefully, DNA testing will be required by LAW, someday~ so as to end all this nonsense.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And in the old style of counting, a woman was one month pregnant the moment she conceives, just as a baby used to be one year old the moment it's born.

wow, very interesting~Thank You Cleo ^_^

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Just curious....what was/is the reasoning for the "draconian" deal with the 6 months for women vs men? If such exists in the US, as a poster may have stated, why in either case?

Besides the point that it ain't gonna be changed, I'm curious as to the reason for the six months to begin with.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think 3 months is a reasonable period, to make sure she isn't pregnant and everything.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I think 3 months is a reasonable period, to make sure she isn't pregnant and everything.

Yes, I have to agree, 3 months would be reasonable to be applied to men as well....

..you know, just to make sure he doesn't have another woman on the side and everything... ^_~

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A lot of marriages end because of infidelity.

If woman X is married to man X and has an affair with man Y starting in January 1, 2011, then she could have gotten pregnant from him on January 1. It's also possible she still had sexual relationships with man X, her husband at the same time. If she gets a divorce from man X on March 1, 2011 (90 days) then who is the father?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Article 772. is an absolute joke. It must be so frustrating for her and others.

As mentioned before DNA testing would solve Article 772.

I hope this woman wins.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan having sexist and out-dated laws. No way. Never.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

LOL Oh, that's right. If woman X gets married to man Y 300 days after getting a divorce with man X the child is obviously............ Hmmmmm........... WTF?!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Bravo!! Get them girl!! and she is 20, wow. Good luck!! Its going to be a difficult fight. She needs to seek outside governmental help from other countries to get this pushed. The second suit is just complete and utter nonsense on the part of the gov. how can you tell me that the child is not mine. This law is obviously from before DNA testing and more. it should have been changed a long time ago.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sorry for the double post but if she wins, I wonder how many women are going to jump up and do the same. Gonna put a hurtin on the Gov. but there will be a lot of rich single house wives.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Boy, that ain't America.....if the woman is pregnant and marry's another man, that new husband will have to pay child support if that marriage falls apart. Our court looks at it as he's the responsible father, that's it !

0 ( +1 / -1 )

if she wins, I wonder how many women are going to jump up and do the same. Gonna put a hurtin on the Gov. but there will be a lot of rich single house wives.

She's suing for only 1,650,000yen and she's not a single house wive.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

she is 20

No, she isn't.

She's IN her 20s...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree it is outdated and should change. However, am rather confused about this - as Cleo mentioned - sex would most likely be out the window for a couple divorcing so in this cause, wouldn't the women have been cheating? Certainly doesn't make the law any better but perhaps people could divorce first and then look for their next husband/wife?

Blue witch - "Aren't we equal under the eyes of "God"?" - aren't you Japanese? You should know that a) no one here cares what Christianity thinks on this notion and b) surely you are smart enough to know that Japanese is a very sexist society who certainly doesn't think men and women are equal.

And I find it laughable that so many people here jump from one marriage to another. I know of about 10 people who divorced one month, got remarried the next. A little me time to reevaluate their lives might help the second marriage. Why the rush? If you are meant to be with that person, no rush at all.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

sex would most likely be out the window for a couple divorcing

Whaaaaaaat???

Plenty of people having sex with their partner and having some on the side as well.

Divorce is often an option WHEN the cheating wife finds out she's pregnant.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is about time someone challenged this discriminatory law. It is to bad the lower court ruled against her. Hopefully the appeals court will side with her since everyone knows this law is wrong and needs to be changed. Personally, I can't understand how any judge would rule against her. I would like to see the judges ruling in the first case. Anyway, good luck to her. I hope more people file claims like this one to draw attention to Japan's outdated and discriminatory laws. One voice can barely be heard. Ten thousand voices can't be ignored!! Childrenfirst.jp

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tmarie.

IME, many of the ladies that soon remarry are the ones that want to be "kept" as they don't work themselves and thus cannot support themselves and/or kids.

Many will jump ship for a better provider/higher earning husband.

Sad but I have known many ladies like that here, Love, etc don't play a role for them. Those were the same ladies that joined Hitachi, IBM, etc out of school to snag a department head, etc.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

She's facing an uphill battle against conservative male judges who rarely issue landmark rulings. I hope she wins, but I don't like her chances.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

meh, the law is silly, and this woman is silly too. they're a match made in heaven.

sorry, hubby can't be too smart either for knocking up a married woman. brickbats all around, then.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I wonder how many women are affected by these laws as they now stand. Very few I suppose, and that is probably the best argument of all for not having them in the first place.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Zenny, you're right. Why on earth would any man want a) a wife that is known to cheat b) a wife who leaves one husband for a better step up and c) such a woman? Beyond my understanding.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So if she had killed her ex-husband instead of divorcing him, this would not be a issue?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree with the other poster, women need to organize and rights for themselves.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

tmarie, i agree with you agreeing with Zenny. One of these days Zenny will stop making sense, but it isn't today.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Too bad this woman suffered from DV. She was seperated from her husband since September 2006 until their official divorce in October 2008. By the way she did lose her appeal case concerning Article 772 of the Civil code. If you marry the same person that you divorced, the six month rule (Article 733) does not apply.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Oh yeah? and these are actual laws? there is definitely something rotten in Denmark.... that can't be the mind-set of the entire Country, or, indeed, there is an attitude problem here. Has anyone heard of Human Rights, much less Gender Equality even.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sorry, what I meant to say is whether the Court can adjudicate marital fidelity. It sounds a bit of a reach to me because you would have to have a cop in every bedroom and hostess bar. So how does that work? A guy can hang out at the hostess bar all night but the wife has to stay home with the kids and watch food shows on TV?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Bluewitch:

" Same here, especially with that disgusting stone-age law that says we WOMEN can't get married for 6 months after divorce, I was like: HUH?! "

Women can get pregnant, men not. I hope that answers your "Huh?!".

-1 ( +2 / -2 )

The first concerns Article 733 of the Civil Code, which prohibits women from getting remarried within six months of the dissolution of the last marriage contract.

Why?

One exception to the rule is when a woman is pregnant before the divorce. Under this condition, she can remarry after the birth of a child.

Why?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They're giving them 6 months to think about what they just did.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Any serious answers?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

None

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is a very sensitive topic.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

wow! some people Don't LEARN. getting married after 6 months of a divorce is way too Soon! NO wonder why the first one Failed. NO wonder why we have Millions of divorces a year, because people that are desperate to get Married so fast. YES i think this law should apply to men also. NOT just women.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I have often said Japan is embarassingly primitive, this is a CLASSIC example, the women of this country really need to start fighting for some rights.

Its crap like this that is still on the books that makes you realize HOW ON EARTH can Japan deal with the children & the Hague regarding international marriages gone bad, when the country can even correct these obvious flaws.

The rot continues folks, unaffected by tsunami, nukes or common sense, the rot continues!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Perhaps they don't get together and fight because they are too busy enjoying their cakes sets on their husband's dime? Seems like it would be the perfect lunch topic though!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"IME, many of the ladies that soon remarry are the ones that want to be "kept" as they don't work themselves and thus cannot support themselves and/or kids.

Many will jump ship for a better provider/higher earning husband.

Sad but I have known many ladies like that here, Love, etc don't play a role for them. Those were the same ladies that joined Hitachi, IBM, etc out of school to snag a department head, etc."

Zenny -- no wonder you are so comfortable in Japan. You think the same backward way many of the men putting its ignorent laws in place do. For every "kept" woman that you describe and simply want to "jump ship", I can find just as many, if not more, of ones who were simply fed up with having their emotional and physical needs being ignored by their husband for many years, while the men "worked" late at night in the izakaya. Or has the phenomenon of the "Narita Divorce" not come onto your radar screen?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

herefornow.

Do you know the difference between IME & IMO? And thanks for the personal attack truly uncalled for, but speaks volumes about you.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Readers, please keep the discussion civil.

@tmarie

Blue witch - "Aren't we equal under the eyes of "God"?" - aren't you Japanese? You should know that a) no one here cares what Christianity thinks on this notion and b) surely you are smart enough to know that Japanese is a very sexist society who certainly doesn't think men and women are equal.

I mentioned "God" because I know I'm in a multicultural forum and wanted to show respect to fellow posters. I grew up in a Shinto family in Ishigakijima, Okinawa. So..No, I'm not a Christian, but I have respect for other religions. and yes, Japanese society is extremely sexist, but it's a little better now than before, back in Edo period when women were nothing but objects. Second class citizens. Rape wasn't even a crime, as it was rampant especially among enemy clans. Children were third class citizens, even lower than women, as their were considered property. It's very far from being as open and have equality as other advanced nations but it's changing little by little...right?

ps, I know the changing is very snail-paced but it won't be like this forever, I hope!!!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@GW

I have often said Japan is embarassingly primitive, this is a CLASSIC example, the women of this country really need to start fighting for some rights.

Its crap like this that is still on the books that makes you realize HOW ON EARTH can Japan deal with the children & the Hague regarding international marriages gone bad, when the country can even correct these obvious flaws.

The rot continues folks, unaffected by tsunami, nukes or common sense, the rot continues!

Exactly!! 100% agreed with you.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Again.

I never posted that the laws were good or that I agreed with nor that my experiences was a justification for them. So not sure where you get those views from that I supposedly have.

Time to get some work(meetings) done here, can't play games with you anymore.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, I have to agree, 3 months would be reasonable to be applied to men as well.... ..you know, just to make sure he doesn't have another woman on the side and everything... ^_~

I agree :) If you can get over a divorce in less than 3 months you have relationship issues. No one with a loving heart would get over a past love that quick.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The first concerns Article 733 of the Civil Code, which prohibits women from getting remarried within six months of the dissolution of the last marriage contract.

Does anyone here know the actual reason?

One exception to the rule is when a woman is pregnant before the divorce. Under this condition, she can remarry after the birth of a child.

Again, why?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@hisashiburi

Does anyone here know the actual reason?

Because in that 6 month period, the "government" wants to make sure the woman in question is not expecting a child. And if she is, that child would automatically go into her former husband's family register as "his", even though most of the times, they were already separated before the divorce was finalized and the baby belongs to the new spouse-to-be, boyfriend, etc.

Again, why?

If in fact she's pregnant, things will just get worse for her in terms of time, for example: If she is, say, 2 months pregnant at the time the divorce gets finalized, she will have to wait how long? probably 8 months, or until that baby is born BEFORE she can marry again....NOT the 6 month period, but that length of her pregnancy that's usually longer than 6 months!!!! This is a very old law indeed, but because now we have DNA we don't need such thing anymore.

Contrary to popular belief, NOT all women go get divorced "jumped ship" right before meeting the new "husband to be", boyfriend, whatever...majority and yes, GREAT majority of these women were already SEPARATED long before that divorced was finalized. and you know what? This being Japan, do you know how long it can take for a divorce to be over with when both parties disagree in something? It can take YEARS!!!! So please, don't think all women that get divorce switch man to man in less than 3 months or something. There are cases of some rotten apples, yes..but only a minority do this. Generally, the women are already separated for time, before the divorce is final.

I'm NOT a student of Law but this is what I can tell you from close experiences.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sorry, but none of your western style laws or western style thinking can possibly make the biological differences between men and women the same. You are not going anywhere until that truth is faced. And any new law or change in the current has to take that into account.

Next, what is the core of this issue? Women's rights? No. The core of this issue is the situation of the children. Until you have that firmly grasped, you are lost at sea.

From there, the real problems are the inflexibility of the system and the focus on the outdated concept of children being "legitimate". Does anyone really care anymore whether a child was born in or out of wedlock? Why should the registry care? And why delay in registering the child when there there is a limit to the amount of time you can? Either get rid of that limit or allow people to amend information that was later corrected by a DNA test.

Thinking outside the box, what would also alleviate the situation is to create on the registry the classes of genetic parent and custodial parent. Trying to squeeze the two into one "father" or "mother" is just a silly thing to try to do. You confirm one with a DNA test. You confirm the other by the genetic mother's wishes, becasue she did a heck of a lot more than just donate sperm. Her baby was literally attached to her for approx 9.5 months, and that is another thing that cannot be made gender equal by law or wishful thinking.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is a very old law indeed, but because now we have DNA we don't need such thing anymore.

The reality is that non-invasive (safe) prenatal paternity testing is still quite new, and I cannot even tell you if its available in Japan, legally recognized in Japan, or what it costs. The law cannot be expected to catch up so fast with modern technology, especially since so few people are seriously affected. Most people just wait to get re-married and are smart enough not to cause a pregnancy in the inter-rim.

Things do need to change though, from the law to the practices of the registry system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From there, the real problems are the inflexibility of the system and the focus on the outdated concept of children being "legitimate". Does anyone really care anymore whether a child was born in or out of wedlock?

YES!

Thinking outside the box, what would also alleviate the situation is to create on the registry the classes of genetic parent and custodial parent. Trying to squeeze the two into one "father" or "mother" is just a silly thing to try to do. You confirm one with a DNA test. You confirm the other by the genetic mother's wishes

Yes!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I meant 'yes' as in 'I AGREE!'

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Japanese law system cares if a child is born out of wedlock - why I have no idea - and it explains the whole "dekichattakon" phenomena. You have to realise that this is still a new concept even for western countries and one that well, I can see why people are not exactly embracing it. Huge issues "back home" with single mothers on welfare who can't afford the kid they have but are having more because they get more money. I would rather Japan not turn into that kind of society.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japanese law system cares if a child is born out of wedlock - why I have no idea

I agree up to there.

and it explains the whole "dekichattakon" phenomena.

I have no idea how you link the social phenomenon to the government. Besides, not all dekichatta kekkon happen before the birth. It seems to be beyond the point that the wedding happen before the child is born. I don't think that is the point at all. I also think its a misunderstanding to believe that the couple had no idea what they were doing. I think it is more like,they dated and agreed that if it happens, they will marry, and they sometimes discuss this a lot beforehand. So its not they did not want a child. They did, sort of. The point is that, their child is on the way, they forsaw the possibility, and they both have a responsibility to raise that child. Seems to be the key point of marriage to me anyhow.

And so, I don't think that there is any fear that Japan will become a single mother/ welfare society, and that is because Japanese seem to understand the point of marriage, while those in single mother/welfare societies make up the most silly grandiose and unworkable romantic notions and then are genuinely shocked to find it does not work in the real world and they wind up with a bunch of single mothers on welfare.

But you know, this thread is proof of how westerners can get all worked up about the odd cases at the expense of the big picture. Dekichatta kekkon is a postive trend and some people try so hard to make it a negative because they are negative people I guess. But even so, more is said about this marriage law, which is a bit skewed, but it affects only a few people, and as Sourpuss notes, those people tend to be brickbats anyway. As a guy who has, with no assistance from his partners, prevented pregnancy probably more than a thousand times and made a baby only when he wanted to, I know its not rocket science. Those affected by this law are the ones who didn't plan and didn't think ahead. Even so, the law needs changed and I hope it does.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Potsandpans:

" Sorry, but none of your western style laws or western style thinking can possibly make the biological differences between men and women the same. You are not going anywhere until that truth is faced. And any new law or change in the current has to take that into account. Next, what is the core of this issue? Women's rights? No. The core of this issue is the situation of the children. Until you have that firmly grasped, you are lost at sea. "

Bulls eye! The selfishness of some commentators here is astonishing. They find it offensive that Japanese law cares about the welfare of the child. How terrible, apparently.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The selfishness of some commentators here is astonishing. They find it offensive that Japanese law cares about the welfare of the child. How terrible, apparently.

Where to you see this caring I wonder, I just see a outdated method to assign who owns the kid, no care involved that I can see

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GW: no care involved that I can see

That is the tragedy. I have heard that there used to be some discrimination against children born out of wedlock or even conceived before marriage, but also conceived during a marriage but with a lover rather than spouse. There probably is still a measure of that discrimination, but it seems to be dying. The law was designed to prevent that shame falling on the kids. But as you say, it is outdated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And in the old style of counting, a woman was one month pregnant the moment she conceives, just as a baby used to be one year old the moment it's born.

Cleo, you're the only poster who actually understands that the "10 months" thing makes sense and isn't literally 10 months. The phrase 十月十日(とつきとおか)means "the 10th day of the 10th month", not "10 months and 10 days". Conceive your baby on January 1 and it'll be born on October 10.

A Japanese explanation is here: http://www.pixy.cx/~kamosika/1/totukitouka.htm

As for the law that this woman is against, I reluctantly have to agree with it, at least in the era before DNA testing. It protects the new husband from being saddled with the a child that isn't his. If you're a man, imagine marrying a woman who (truthfully) claims to be single, and then immediately becomes pregnant. Being duped into raising another man's child is one of the worst things that can be done to a man short of murdering him.

Perhaps both sexes should be required to wait before marrying again, with a six-month "cooling off" period for both partners. It would be gender-neutral, would ameliorate paternity fraud concerns, and would prevent people from rushing into ill-advised marriages.

Also, @BlueWitch - You're from Ishigaki? I travel there several times a year and love that area. I even learned a bit of the language of the Miyara district on the east side of the island. Supposedly people were resettled there from other islands after the disastrous Meiwa Tsunami of 1771, and their language is different from other Yaeyama people. Of course the young people all speak Japanese nowadays...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When a man takes a woman, single, divorced, sometimes still married, he commits to that woman; if with child, "a package deal." Call me a fool, but I would rather raise the unborn child as my own as part of the commitment, giving him/her all the love I give to the mom. Rather than spending money in defense of draconian laws, the politicians should comb through the books and bring this beautiful country as a whole into the 21st. Get rid of those "big eyebrowed 'ol farts", stop passing the baton like the royals do, and get some new young blood, preferably "balsy" educated and vocal women like Doi or Tanaka and BlueWitch for the task at hand:) But, BlueWitch would probably pass the country over to "her beautiful little bundle of joy" and start this s**t all over again.LOL

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought suing was for damages incurred by an offending party...did these laws damage her ability to support her child? Marriage is just a mutual agreement to share life together with all its various costs publicly witnessed by the current law those people live under. This law also helps to mediate any legal issues concerning their interaction with said public. It's not the government's responsibilty to baby sit domestic relationship issues, only to regulate the paperwork and responsibilty of both parents involved in the child's life. The laws always need to change with the times but keep certain basic values of equality in mind. I like old king Solomon's ruling on the dispute over who got possession of the baby and so he said cut the baby in half and both parties may be satisfied in having their share, the person who cared for the child was horrified and let it go to the other party, he then decided who was the rightful parent...this girl who wants to get money for her situation is probably going about it the wrong way and should get together with a women's rights group for support to change the laws for the freedom of women's rights of equality and choice to marry with whom ever and when ever. The issue of the next suitor taking resposibilty for an unborn child should be at their own discretion in their wish to be with the person they love. Love and law is a hard mix in equality and freedom, yet laws should allow all equality in freedom and respect to others in the general public....this is only my opinion though ^^y peace all

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites