Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Japan: Forcing Couples to Share Surname is Constitutional

From The Japan Times:

The top court on Wednesday again ruled that legal provisions forcing married couples to use the same surname are constitutional, upholding a Supreme Court judgment from 2015.

Japan is the only country in the world known to have a law forcing married couples to share a surname, according to the Justice Ministry. The United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has also recommended that Japan change the system.

The three couples, all in common-law relationships, had appealed to the Supreme Court after the Tokyo Family Court and its Tachikawa branch dismissed their requests to legally marry while keeping their separate surnames in 2019. The Tokyo High Court turned down their appeals in 2020.

Read more here.

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