Citizens Sue Japanese Government to Seek Selective Dual-Surname System (News)


Tokyo, Jan. 9 (Jiji Press)—Four citizens filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government on Tuesday for damages over mental distress caused by the family register law, which does not allow married couples to use separate surnames.

The plaintiffs, including Aono Yoshihisa, 46, president of Tokyo-based software developer Cybozu Inc., filed the suit with Tokyo District Court, seeking ¥2.2 million in damages.

In a high-profile verdict in 2015, the Supreme Court said the Civil Code provision stipulating that married couples use the same surname is constitutional.

The latest suit, which focuses on the constitutionality of the family register law, was filed to call for the introduction of a system allowing couples to choose whether they use the same or separate surnames.

The petition says that when Japanese and foreign nationals get married, the couples basically have dual surnames. The Japanese citizens, however, can use their spouse's family name if they make an application based on the law.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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