Upon marriage Japan’s current legislation forces a couple to decide on a single family name. While the law does allow for either partner’s name to be chosen, in more than 95% of the cases, the wife changes to her new husband’s last name. However, this tradition may soon see a change.
Japan’s Supreme Court recently announced that starting in November 2015, it will be re-examining the constitutionality of the current surname laws. This court review comes on the heels of claimant demands that they be allowed to select separate last names despite being married. The legal question which the court will have to answer is whether having different surnames in marriage is a right guaranteed by the constitution.
For more information, in Japanese, from the Nikkei financial newspaper, click here.