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Japan’s top court upholds same-name rule for married couples, overturns remarriage moratorium for women

by

Staff Writer

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the constitutionality of a controversial Civil Code provision requiring married couples to use the same surname in official matters.

The decision was a blow to campaigners who sued the state, asking the nation’s highest court to declare the rule unconstitutional.

The matter is contentious in Japan, with opponents calling it an infringement of women’s fundamental rights and conservatives regarding shared names as a central pillar of the family unit.

The top court did, however, declare that a law prohibiting female divorcees from remarrying within six months of their divorce is unconstitutional.

In response to the ruling on the ban on remarriage, Justice Minister Mitsuhide Iwaki responded Wednesday evening by pledging a swift legal revision. Noting the ruling suggested the ban be shortened to 100 days, the ministry issued a notice to its regional bureaus nationwide that women wishing to remarry 100 days after a divorce should be allowed to do so even before any legal revision takes place, Iwaki said.

Both rulings relate to family laws dating from the Meiji Era (1868-1912). Campaigners who brought the pair of lawsuits alleged discrimination against women.

One suit, filed in 2011, involved a statute requiring Japanese spouses to choose which single family name — the husband’s or the wife’s — to adopt in legally registering their marriage.

The plaintiffs argued this amounts to gender discrimination because being forced to choose a single surname infringes on personal dignity and the freedom to marry.

Presiding Justice Itsuro Terada said sharing a single family name is a system “deeply rooted in our society” and is meaningful in that it “enables people to identify themselves as part of a family in the eyes of others.”

Although admitting that being pressured to forfeit a maiden name often works to women’s disadvantage professionally — and may even trigger an identity crisis — Terada said such hardships can be mitigated, since women are free to use their maiden names in daily life.

However, campaigners cite inconveniences in the workplace as a significant reason for their opposition to the rule. Some say when a woman known professionally by her maiden name has to adopt a new one it creates major complications.

Meanwhile, the top court similarly rejected the plaintiffs’ appeal for a combined ¥6 million in compensation.

Noting that the law gives couples the freedom to decide which surname to adopt, Terada said it is not discriminatory in itself.

However, studies in the past 40 years show more than 96 percent of Japanese couples have opted for the husband’s name.

Some of the plaintiffs reported emotional distress in the form of depression and difficulty sleeping.

Coming at a time when the global trend is increasingly toward allowing the use of separate names, the ruling is “anachronistic,” said Masayuki Tanamura, a professor of family law at Waseda University.

“The ruling will not encourage women to remain in the workforce after marriage and childbirth,” Tanamura said. “As the circumstances surrounding a family and public perceptions of it are evolving, the Civil Code provision, based on an outdated view of the family, must be changed.”

He added that the Diet should not take the ruling as an excuse for inaction, but should promptly revise the law.

Waseda Law School professor Mutsuko Asakura also lambasted the ruling.

Noting only three female judges on the 15-member Grand Bench of the top court that examined the case, she said the ruling underscored the gross lack of understanding by male judges toward inconveniences long imposed on women. It even risks further cementing the international community’s perception of Japan as a country “intolerant of diversity” and “insensitive to human rights,” she said.

Meanwhile, in response to a lawsuit filed by a 30-something female divorcee from Okayama Prefecture, the top court recognized the unconstitutionality of a separate statute prohibiting women from remarrying within six months of their divorce.

The court, however, rejected the woman’s appeal for ¥1.65 million in compensation for emotional distress.

Critics call the measure outdated in an era of early pregnancy detection and of DNA sequencing, which can identify paternity to a degree of accuracy unthinkable a century ago.

Terada said the ban represents an “excessive restriction” on women’s freedom of marriage.

Yet reducing the ban to 100 days would pose no constitutional problem, he said in reference to a related clause that says a child born within the first 300 days after a divorce is legally a descendant of the former husband, while a child born at least 200 days after the second marriage is deemed to be that of a new partner.

Debate over whether to revamp the Civil Code, which dates from the Meiji Era, flared up in the 1990s following Japan’s ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1985.

In response to public calls for change, a legislative panel of the Justice Ministry proposed amendments in 1996 to legalize having separate surnames and to shorten the six-month ban on remarriage.

It provoked fierce opposition from conservative lawmakers, and the proposals were shelved, defeating what would have been the biggest postwar overhaul of family laws.

Even today, resistance to the idea of spouses retaining separate names remains particularly strong among lawmakers within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “womenomics,” or the greater inclusion of women in society and economic life, the party opposes allowing separate surnames on the grounds that it would destroy “the sense of family unity.”

Public opinion is divided, too.

A survey conducted by the Cabinet Office in 2012 showed that respondents were split, with 35.5 percent in favor of allowing separate surnames and 36.4 percent against. A survey conducted by public broadcaster NHK last month also showed that 46 percent of respondents support the idea, while 50 percent oppose it.

The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has repeatedly urged the government to take “immediate action” to amend the law.

  • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

    ‘A society where every woman can shine’, as long as she doesn’t want to be more than her husband’s wife. I predict Japan will slide further below Tajikistan on next years UN gender equality ranking.

    • Tabula Rasa

      They need women to “shine” when they need them to work…as long as women don’t get the credit for said work.

  • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

    ‘A society where every woman can shine’, as long as she doesn’t want to be more than her husband’s wife. I predict Japan will slide further below Tajikistan on next years UN gender equality ranking.

  • Blair

    It’s not sexist if either the man’s or woman’s surname can be used. If this woman is really sinking into depression and losing sleep as she claims, perhaps it’s her husband’s sexism she should question. I’d happily take my wife’s name if it troubled her so much otherwise

    • Jim Jimson

      Nah bro, it’s totally sexist. Formal legal equality can and does exist comfortably beside patriarchal social practices; they’re not mutually exclusive like you’re suggesting. Besides, the same professional and psychological consequences could befall a man who changed his name to his wife’s, since he could easily be perceived as subservient to his wife. It just goes to show how the misogynist and retrograde system of marriage should be abolished altogether : )

      • Blair

        the law is neutral. Marriage works perfectly well for those of us devoted to the family. Here’s the beauty of it…Those not interested in it need not enter into it

      • R0ninX3ph

        People enter into marriage sometimes because there are significant financial benefits for being married, similarly, under Japanese law a child born out of wedlock is still stigmatised.

        If the rules for de-facto marriages were changed, or if a civil-union system was developed in Japan allowing the kinds of rights married people hold for people who wish to retain their own names, then sure, I’d go with what you’re saying, but that doesn’t exist.

      • R0ninX3ph

        People enter into marriage sometimes because there are significant financial benefits for being married, similarly, under Japanese law a child born out of wedlock is still stigmatised.

        If the rules for de-facto marriages were changed, or if a civil-union system was developed in Japan allowing the kinds of rights married people hold for people who wish to retain their own names, then sure, I’d go with what you’re saying, but that doesn’t exist.

      • Buck

        Marriage is not supposed to be for simply gaining financial benefits. It’s the necessary
        building block of a strong society and nation. I agree with Blair, the law is neutral and helps to maintain the idea of family unity. Culture influences the decision for women more often than not to take on the husband’s surname, but the law does not force it. It is a nearly universal phenomenon for this same cultural practice to have existed throughout history, and for a myriad of reason, both reasonable and unreasonable.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I’m not saying the law isn’t neutral, as the law says they should choose one or the other, and yes it is the culture that generally pushes the women to take their husband’s name, and not the law itself.

        I was responding to his inference that people who don’t like it should not do it, its the same as the people who tell foreigners “if you don’t like something in Japan, go home”, the world isn’t black and white like that.

      • Blair

        Sorry, I don’t get the analogy

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Those not interested in it need not enter into it” I see this as akin to saying to foreigners in Japan “If you don’t like it here, go home” “If you’re not interested in it (marriage/same family names/Japanese “unique culture”), you need not enter into it (same it from before)”.

      • Blair

        I was replying to the poster who said that Marriage was outdated should be abolished…my comment was to those who feel the same. Those not interested in it should not enter into it. Obviously, those of us foreigners who have chosen to make a life here in Japan are very much interested in doing so. The analogy fails

      • Blair

        I was replying to the poster who said that Marriage was outdated should be abolished…my comment was to those who feel the same. Those not interested in it should not enter into it. Obviously, those of us foreigners who have chosen to make a life here in Japan are very much interested in doing so. The analogy fails

    • blondein_tokyo

      I think she should definitely question her husband’s sexism. In fact, I think she should question getting married at all, considering that once she does, she is not considered to be her own person anymore, but instead part of a unit. That in and of itself, for both men and women, is a very good reason to question the entire system of changing names after marriage. Why is it considered a bad thing to retain individuality after marriage? Especially when studies have shown that married couples who have their own interests, hobbies, and spend time away from each other actually have healthier, longer marriages.

      • Blair

        I agree, except when having children, which, to me, is the only reason to get married. Once you have children (i have 5!), good luck with that own interest, hobby thingy…In most Japanese marriages (including mine), you lose your first name the moment you have children…It’s no longer “Blair”, it’s Papa, from day 1. That’s something people should understand going in. A lot don’t and that’s why the divorce rate is so high….Marriage, i.e., family is about sacrifice. That said, their is a great reward for your sacrifices. It comes in the health and well being of your children and the love and care you get back in spades

      • blondein_tokyo

        I agree with everything you’re saying here. However, this ruling is sexist because Japan is a patriarchal society, which means these lawmakers know quite well that the vast majority of women will be forced to use their husband’s name. It’s only an illusion of choice, and not actually a real choice.

        These male lawmakers don’t want to change the law because it would disturb the status quo, and thus destroy their position of privilege. This ruling is completely self-serving.

        There really is no logical reason not to allow separate last names for couples. The one and only argument they have put forth, that last names “bind” families, is provably false. They are making up reasons that sound good, but have no real substance. When people resort to that you know they are not being honest about their true reasoning. In this case, the true reason is that they want women to take men’s names – because they believe women are “given” by their family to join their husband’s family – and that is a sexist notion.

      • Blair

        Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. Men and woman, or men and men or women and women enter into marriage in equal agreement (in most cases). It is perfectly legal for the man to take the woman’s surname…Therefore, the law is neutral. The adjudicators have ruled objectively. It’s not their responsibility to school those who find fault with men strong enough to take their wive’s father’s names. It IS a real choice. Women who feel strongly about such an issue should not marry men who won’t support them on it. If more men stood up for themselves, society’s attitude on this would change over time. If not, then the current state reflects society’s wishes just fine. Either way…the law itself is neutral

      • blondein_tokyo

        Customary, exactly – meaning, favoring the men’s side for no reason other than custom, which, as you said, originated in sexism. That means it’s still entirely sexist. There is only an illusion of choice, since the vast majority of men, being of the customary, sexist mindset, won’t even consider taking their wife’s name. Likewise, many women are also of the customary, sexist mindset, also won’t fuss over taking their husband’s name, or else do mind but don’t feel able to protest, since it’s established custom. If we know anything about Japan, we know that people don’t buck custom.

        Therefore, the law is neutral in word, but sexist in practice.

        They have not ruled “objectively” because, as men of the older generation, they are going by custom, which is inherently biased, which makes their decision sexist.

        I don’t think it’s very practical to tell women whose partners still adhere to the sexist ideals just not to get married, or not to marry the guy they are otherwise in love with just because of this one issue. It’s rather cutting off the nose to spite the face.

        It’s an impractical, untenable, and unreasonable suggestion, which doesn’t make it a real choice. Kind of like those people who say, “Well, if you don’t like Japan, then GIT OUT. They know very well the listener realizes they really don’t have a choice but to obey the law, and are rubbing it in their face as if to say, “too dam bad if you don’t like it.”

        It’s a FALSE choice, and a very very bad, and very dishonest, argument.

      • Blair

        I believe, that when one enters into a marriage, one enters into a unity and that involves sacrificing some of your individuality. It’s the way I feel.I’m not being dishonest in the least. It’s the way the institution sees it. It’s the way the law sees it. The law is neutral, in that there IS a choice. As I’ve said, I’m perfectly happy to take my wife’s name. I’m in no way being dishonest in this sentiment. I think it would behoove the couple from the outset to confront a choice that could prove to cause conflict as there will be a life full of choices in which one must make compromises. Family and marriage are all about compromise and sacrifice. A family is a team…a unit. One

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Those who aren’t prepared to make them should reconsider. A family is a team…a unit. One”

        I agree with you, a family is a team, they are a unit. I just disagree that it requires having the same name. Many countries around the world have people in families, living the same lives as Japanese families without their society crumbling down, all the while the man and woman do not share a family name.

        The argument made that the family bonds are somehow weaker because of not having the same name is ridiculous, given many international marriages thrive in Japan where the Japanese spouse doesn’t take the foreign family name or vice versa, and their families are just fine.

      • Blair

        The argument that changing one’s name to a hyphenated version in order to avoid changing one’s name is absurd

      • R0ninX3ph

        Where did I mention hyphenation? People can be married and have two entirely different names, as evidenced by the many Japanese-Foreign marriages in Japan where people do not have the same name as their spouse.

        Some choose to take their spouse’s name, as evidenced by you and your wife, and others *gasp* do not, and their families are just fine.

      • Blair

        Why is it such a destruction of the person if their surname changes? A rose by any other name…

      • R0ninX3ph

        I… what? The claim by conservatives in Japan is that families must have the same name to have strong family bonds, but the law allows foreign-japanese families to have a different surname if they so choose.

        So, either, the family bonds don’t matter to them when it is a Japanese person and a foreigner, OR, the family bond will be just as strong regardless of whether the names are the same or not, I like to think that love is what makes a family bond strong, and that love doesn’t hinge on having the same family name.

      • Blair

        Again, why is it that a person is destroyed by taking the surname of their spouse? Some plaintiffs claimed shock, depression, the inability to sleep! I suppose the Japanese court takes a similar stance on the traditional family unit. An international marriage is more complicated as the marriage could have happened overseas where Japanese courts hold no jurisdiction.

      • R0ninX3ph

        Really, who are you to judge how a person feels regarding their own identity? How humans identify themselves and how they view their own identity is one of the core things that makes us sentient beings.

        Just because you wouldn’t feel like your identity is affected if you change your name, doesn’t mean others all feel the same as you. Again, its about choice, nobody is telling you that you MUST keep your name, it is giving people the choice to change or not.

        Japan has no problem having one rule for one group and another rule for another, example, dual-nationality is illegal after the age of 22, so why wouldn’t they be able to legislate that a Japanese spouse of a foreigner in Japan must use the same name if they wish to register the marriage in Japan. (Which they legally must do for Japan to recognise their marriage…).

      • Blair

        By the same argument, the Japanese identify themselves by their core values. Of which one is the family unit. The institution of marriage as legally defined by the Japanese court of law is one that requires a single surname. Who are you to judge what the Japanese identify as worthy of upholding as tradition and representative of their core values. The law equally recognizes the right for either partner to assume the other’s surname. The Japanese feel the single name better represents the single unit, the family.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I’m not the one judging, actual Japanese people took a stand and said “We don’t identify ourselves by our husband”. It is all nice to think that each country has a single culture and everyone magically fits in and never feels slighted in their own country, but it just isn’t true anywhere.

        When you say “The Japanese feel the ingle name better represents the single unit, the family.” you actually mean, a bunch of old men think that. There was a news poll that had the results at 50% against and 46% for within the general public, with 69% of those above 70 being against, and those under 60 being the majority for the change.

        Japanese people themselves brought this through the court system, not foreigners, no foreign pressure to hear this case, Japanese people doing the legwork, Japanese people bringing it to the court. That just shows that not everyone is as culturally homogenous as you like to think Japan is. Sure, the court sided with the status quo for now, but it is interesting to note that the three female members of the Supreme Court sided with plaintiffs…. Imagine if there was a 50/50 split of women and men as judges….. Heaven forbid there be equality in Japan’s highest court.

      • Blair

        a handful of Japanese feminists does not a society make. a random NHK poll does not a society reflect

      • R0ninX3ph

        You’re right, news polls don’t make legislation happen, but they can be a good gauge to judge public opinion.

        In said news poll, it was 69% of people over 70 who were against, and the Supreme Court of Japans justices are largely around that age bracket, so while it is only correlative data, it isn’t at all surprising that they voted the way they did, in almost exactly the same split as the news poll results…

      • Resa Bennett

        Polls, if the sampling technique is good and the sample size is large enough, do a pretty good job reflecting society.

        Random comments on the Internet don’t.

      • Blair

        If you’re talking about Japan, then polls would have to include rural areas, fishing communities, Hokkaido, Okinawa, Kyushu etc. Not just the staff at the office at NHK

      • R0ninX3ph

        The news poll was of 2000 people in Tokyo, yes, not overly representative of rural areas, but hardly “just the staff at NHK” but continue your trolling mate, its amusing watching your dodging and weaving, and goal post moving.

      • Blair

        2000!!! Where in Tokyo? When? Who exactly. I mean, housewives, lawyers…Who. Can you direct me to the poll. I read “an NHK poll”

      • R0ninX3ph

        The poll I saw was on the nightly news the other night, referred to as an NHK poll of 2000 people, I have been trying to find the actual link online somewhere but not having much luck, I will continue my search though.

      • Blair

        I’m waiting on that poll…I’m curious on the location and the demographic

      • R0ninX3ph

        Pretty sure I already said I am finding it hard to actually find it online as I saw it on TV on the late night news in rural Japan.

      • Blair

        I’m waiting on that poll…I’m curious on the location and the demographic

      • Resa Bennett

        Good thing no one is citing polls of the NHK office then.

      • Blair

        can you cite the poll then

      • Resa Bennett

        There are two cited in this article alone and a simple search will find you many more. If you can cite a poll to back up your implication that Japanese people near universally support this law, feel free to share it.

      • Blair

        95% of women take the man’s surname in marriage…That’s a poll enough for me

      • Resa Bennett

        The fact that 100% (not 95%) of couples follow the law (including those who choose the wife’s surname) is in indicator that they support the law? I’m not sure which is more incomprehensible: Your assumption that the couples choosing the husband’s name are for the law but those who choose the wife’s name are against it (when you were arguing that the law isn’t sexist) or your belief that being forced to follow a law means you support it.

      • Blair

        can you cite the poll then

      • Blair

        a handful of Japanese feminists does not a society make. a random NHK poll does not a society reflect

      • R0ninX3ph

        Also, again with suggesting hyphenation… Nobody is suggesting that, why do you keep bringing it up? When I have said “two names” it doesn’t mean hyphenation, it means each person has a different surname, aka, ~they~ have two names, they meaning the two of them as individuals, not the two of them combine their names.

      • Blair

        What about the children? Won’t they have hyphenated names? If they don’t, wouldn’t there be pressure on them to choose between mommy and daddy…causing stress within the family. You see how the court anticipates such strife within the family. Better to go with one name, be it the man’s or the woman’s and not cause undo complications to the family

      • R0ninX3ph

        As far as I know, in other countries where women aren’t required to change their name, as an example, the Republic of Korea, the children take the fathers family name. I am not 100% on the details, but again I’m not sure you and I are ever going to see eye to eye on this, and thats fine.

        I, personally, believe in freedom of choice, and do not think something as small as having the same family name is the truly binding power in building a familial bond.

        If I were to adopt a child, I would love them the same as I would love any biological child of mine, and that love is what builds a family, not the fact we have the same name, or some genetic link.

        My opinion on the matter, however, is not implying that people who choose to have the same name are somehow forgoing loving their family because they think having the same name is enough for that bond. If that has been misunderstood then it isn’t what I intended.

      • skillet

        I had a lesbian couple friend that both had children from the same father through artificial insemination. The couple talked about how biology played no role and both children were equal regardless of biological birth. But when they broke up, each mother took the child she herself had given birth to. Biology and natural law are important. Leftist pretend like family tribe, genetics etc do not exist. However, they are important.

        I think all the psychological problems you see in the United States where an incredible number of people are suffering from mental illness is that society no longer values certain primal bonds. So the medical establishment medicates them into accepting it, but it is still like forcing a round peg through a square hole. Leftist live in a synthetic reality.

        There is an arbitrary value system of according to which “enlightened academics” in gender studies departments have decreed what human nature “should be”. But they run roughshod over what human nature IS.

        Maaybe some women think it is unfair that men are stronger. Maybe some fathers feel it is unfair that no matter how hard they try, the small baby (and often even bigger kids) will prefer the mother.

        But biology is what it is, and when you have all these people trying to re-write the program, it just makes people more depressed and neurotic.And pharmaceutical companies richer.

        These judges still understand organic natural law. I find that refreshing.

      • Resa Bennett

        You’ve dismissed the documented legal, practical, financial, and psychological problems that Japanese women and men who were forced to change their names report experiencing, but now you’re imagining scenarios of family strife based on the children having a different surname from one parent – something that’s universal in certain cultures whose families aren’t on the brink of collapse.

      • Blair

        Psychological problems? Try the relentless teasing the kids with hyphenated names would get in the schoolyards of Japan for that one. Adults for whom the changing of a surname at marriage has never been a secret are far better equipped to handle the “trauma” of a tradition that has been part of their culture for time immemorial, than a fragile child alone in a schoolyard of bullies in a culture that “hammers the nail that sticks out”

      • Resa Bennett

        No one’s talking about hyphenated names or even children’s names except you. And again, you’re taking hypothetical problems seriously while being flippant about existing, documented ones.

      • Blair

        So whose name would the children take? That would open up another issue for kids. Why is your mother’s name Kobayashi?

      • Resa Bennett

        No, it’s certainly not “definite” that a child whose parents have different last names will “bear the brunt of negativity”. And if you’re so concerned about children, consider the consequences for them if their parents follow your advice and don’t enter into a marriage. “Illegitimacy” has documented social, legal and financial consequences for the family.

      • Blair

        I’m not suggesting that people have children illegitimately. I’m saying that people who would put their own convenience over their child’s welfare should not have children

      • Resa Bennett

        You weren’t talking about people who put their convenience over their children’s welfare, you were talking about people who have a different name from their child. Apparently, you believe that alone is enough to deprive someone of the choice to be a parent.

      • Resa Bennett

        You weren’t talking about people who put their convenience over their children’s welfare, you were talking about people who have a different name from their child. Apparently, you believe that alone is enough to deprive someone of the choice to be a parent.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Actually, it’s the Japanese themselves who are trying to change the law, so your argument here, “who are you to judge”, is rather odd.

        The lawsuit shows that there are plenty of Japanese who disagree with this culture, and want to see it change. This is coming from within, so actually, the real question is, who are *you* to tell these Japanese people that they are doing something wrong by wanting to change their culture?

        I have little doubt that in fifteen or twenty years, there will be another lawsuit. The next time they’ll have far more support from the public as well as judges whose views won’t be so stuck in tradition…because the elderly die off, and the young start new traditions of their own.

        Twenty years ago no one thought there would be same-sex marriage. And now look at the world…. :)

      • Blair

        In 15 or 20 years, my opinion may well reflect the minority in which case I’ll go along with the court’s decision

      • blondein_tokyo

        Fair enough. :)

        Can I ask you something, though? I’m just curious. Why not support what individual people want, right now? Because it seems to me that this is a highly subjective, personal issue, and doesn’t affect anyone other than the couple involved. I don’t really understand why people are so vehemently against what really is just a personal choice. There’s no “wrong” way to do relationships. What’s right for you wouldn’t make me happy, and what makes me happy wouldn’t work for you.

        And if you think something is morally or ethically wrong, then I’d think you’d continue to be against it even if it were made legal. For example, if you think smoking pot is morally and ethically wrong, and harmful, you wouldn’t suddenly be okay with it once it’s legalised, no? You’d continue to feel it was wrong, and continue to speak against it.

        Unless, that is, you don’t actually think taking different surnames is harmful, or ethically or morally
        wrong, and are only against it for personal reasons…which brings me back to wondering why you care so much about how other couples decide to run their relationships.

        Just trying to understand this mindset, if you don’t mind explaining your thinking on this. :)

      • Blair

        I like smoking pot. I’d love to be able to smoke it here in Japan, but it’s against the law, so I don’t (even though the occasion has presented itself). I also pay my NHK fees, which I’m not thrilled about. On the matter of names, I DO believe that the single surname serves to signify a commitment to the unity of the family, whether symbolic or otherwise. I come from a sports background. I’m of the “team first” mindset

      • blondein_tokyo

        Then as I understand it, you don’t believe taking different surnames is immoral or unethical. What you’re basing your opinion on is your personal determination in how relationships should run. Is that right?

        But tell me…is it accurate to judge other people’s relationships by your own personal standards? I mentioned before that what makes one person happy may not make another person happy. Shouldn’t individuals be free to pursue happiness in their own way, as long as what they’re doing isn’t immoral, unethical, or harmful to others?

        For example, couples enjoy varying degrees of togetherness. Some couples spend all their free time together and never spend a night apart. Other couples spend more time apart, e.g., even take separate vacations.

        Studies have shown that couples who respect the other’s individual differences and autonomy are the most successful. Yet I’ve found that a lot of couples who are joined at the hip constantly critisize couples who are more independent, and judge their relationships as less loving, less intimate, and less successful.

        I think this shows that it’s impossible to make accurate judgments of other couple’s happiness based on one’s own personal standards.

        I also think it shows that people are often unable to empathize with those who have a different point of view, and are too often ready to dtand in judgment on something they simply don’t understand.

        Could it be, then, that you are wrong in your assertion that a couple who takes the same surname will be more stable than one that takes different ones? Could your judgment be inaccurate simply because this particular relationship dynamic is just something you can’t empathize with or understand?

        Me, I find it difficult to understand why couples are so often joined at the hip! LOL.. :) But I refrain from judging them, and I believe them when they say this is what makes them happy. I also would not dream of trying to interfere via legislation.

        That’s why I ask you: do you think it’s moral or right to force a relationship dynamic, in this case a name change, on couples who say it doesn’t make them happy?

      • Blair

        I think when traditions that are meant to signify cohesion and commitment to that which is bigger and beyond the self,( i.e. the family, the community, the team, etc,) are whittled away for the sake of the ego, then that has an adverse effect on society. Call it the “butterfly effect” re the tipping point…small things matter. Nothing is “being forced” on couples. Couples wishing to enter into the lawful institution of marriage within a given society enter into a legal contract with that society. That is their choice. That society provides support (money for children or health insurance for example). The contract is one which the couple is free to forego (live common law, for example). In Japan (unlike many other countries), the couple is free to chose either the man’s or woman’s surname (therefore, it’s not sexist). The couple does not live in a vacuum. There is a good chance their children would face bullying in the schoolyard. This would be a disruption. Their challenging of conventions could cause unrest and further challenges (why should my child have to walk to school in the rain…I want to drive her!…just because all the kids meet up and walk as a group doesn’t mean my children should too!). Slowly, bit by bit, the social cohesion erodes…

      • blondein_tokyo

        I think you answered my question, even though you didn’t actually address any of the points I made.

        I feel in your answer a blind and unthinking adherence to tradition, and a lack of critical thinking about the value of traditions.

        Traditions are rooted in habit and conformity – not logic or reason. If there is no logical reason behind a tradition, then there is no need to continue that tradition.

        There is no evidence that shows empirically that having the same last name makes couple stronger. This is only something perpetrated by the particular society you grew up in, and it looks like you’ve never questioned it.

        I’m not surprised, though. Most people aren’t critical thinkers and don’t question the views they were raised with, and at the same time fear not fitting in and being rejected by their peers.

        Bullying wouldn’t be even be an issue if people were more tolerant of others’ viewpoints in the first place. But uncritical, intolerant people raise children who are the same.

        I find it sad that people are willing to restrict the freedoms of others out of a desire to ensure that everyone adheres to societal norms that are both baseless and useless.

        LOL…but it also makes me feel rather smug if I’m honest, in that I’m so far from the norm that it probably makes conservatives’ heads ache in consternation at my refusal to obey, and it makes me giggle to think people seriously think their relationship is more stable than mine for no other reason than because they share a last name. :) It’s all rather amusing, actually.

        But I’m sure it’s not so amusing to those it’s actively harming.

        Personally, I think marriage as its currently defined is on its way out. It’s already crumbling – you can’t stop change, no matter how hard you try or how much you’d like to.

      • Blair

        “blind and unthinking adherence to tradition”…I thought about it. Social cohesion was my reasoning. If you’re honest about asking my opinion, try not to answer for me

      • Blair

        “a blind,unthinking adherence to tradition”…I thought about it. Social coherence was my reasoning. If you’re honest about asking my opinion try not to answer for me

      • blondein_tokyo

        But your assertion is false. There is no empirical evidence that having the same surname name achieves social cohesion.

        As evidence, I can offer examples of cultures that are socially cohesive, e.g., the USA, Germany, Italy (and more) even though couples don’t always have the same surname. Your assertion is provably false, yet you continue to adhere to tradition regardless. Thus my determination of “blind unthinking adherence to tradition.”

        I don’t personally have an issue with people who would like to take their spouse’s name. What I question is why other people try to insist that their particular preference should be the norm forced on everyone else, when there’s no good reason for it.

        It’s nothing but an intolerance for differences.

        But if I’m wrong here, if there’s something I have t thought of, or another bit of reasoning you can offer, I’m all ears. I’d be very interested to hear it.

      • blondein_tokyo

        But your assertion is false. There is no empirical evidence that having the same surname name achieves social cohesion.

        As evidence, I can offer examples of cultures that are socially cohesive, e.g., the USA, Germany, Italy (and more) even though couples don’t always have the same surname. Your assertion is provably false, yet you continue to adhere to tradition regardless. Thus my determination of “blind unthinking adherence to tradition.”

        I don’t personally have an issue with people who would like to take their spouse’s name. What I question is why other people try to insist that their particular preference should be the norm forced on everyone else, when there’s no good reason for it.

        It’s nothing but an intolerance for differences.

        But if I’m wrong here, if there’s something I have t thought of, or another bit of reasoning you can offer, I’m all ears. I’d be very interested to hear it.

      • Blair

        provably false in other cultures…while such going against traditions can be provably disruptive and destructive in Japan

      • blondein_tokyo

        How can a thing be emprically true, and false at the same time?

        How can a society have a preference as a whole, yet have individuals who have different preferences?

        The norm is what it is; but once individuals start bucking that norm, it might be a signal that *societal norms are changing*.

        I’m sure you’ve been here long enough to remember when all Japanese companies required employees to wear a white shirt, plain tie, and have black hair- no dye jobs; no hair gel. Brown hair was looked down on.

        Now it’s quite normal to see salarymen even in old, traditional companies (like mine- one of the oldest in Japan) wear coloured shirts and have spiky brown hair.

        It’s not me that’s pushing for this change. It’s the Japanese themselves. And it’s not only young people, it’s older ones.

        Even Japan changes, and regardless of your personal disapproval of seperate surnames, families aren’t being torn apart by married couples who go by different names. They’ve been doing it for years, in fact, unofficially. Why shouldn’t they now try to make it official?

        If in fact going by different names would wreak havoc in Japan, havoc should be well wreaked by now due to all the women who continue to use their maiden names at the office and in every day life, but It’s just not happening.

      • Resa Bennett

        So I suppose you consider Japan’s neighbors China and Korea not as “Asian” as Japan?

        Ironically, you’re also arguing from a more Western concept of family. Confucian influenced cultures also value ancestry and paternity, not just the nuclear family.

      • Blair

        As I’ve mentioned to Blonde…I simply use this page to take my English for a walk as it were. I’ve had my exercise for the day, thanks

      • skillet

        I think we would all benefit from increasing awareness of extended families

      • skillet

        It was not blind conformity. There were societies that survived and societies that disintegrated. We have civilization because of societies that had cohesion. Weaker societies had no cohesion.And were conquered or just fell apart. I am not a Hindu, but there was a prophesy that explained how in the latter days, people would be unable to think about family and tribe but simply like animals who could only think of themselves.

        This is not to spread Hinduism or even that I believe that prophesy.But it is to show that spiritual traditions had knnowledge of the deep psyche and how to construct a healthy collective. People understood the value of things like the family, the tribe, the nation. That without these bonds, their civilization and culture would die.

        Maybe it was God. Maybe not. But when societies with no cohesion were conquered, it was seen as divine punishment.Even if atheists are right (or wrong) about the non-existence of God, the religious people understood intuitively far more about the strenth and health of a culture than and were much more capable modern social engineers who promote narrow agendas.

        So call it God, call it Tao, call it the deep psyche. Call it healthy sociology.

        Academics who think they can re-engineer society to pick apart traditional moral codes will ultimaltely see a collapse of civilization and the return of barbarianism.

        And a lower human condition without human dignity.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Traditional moral codes include FGM in Africa, child brides in Yemen, and the abuse and subjugation of women in most of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The argument from tradition is a fallacy because tradition does not mean “good”. Traditions should stand and fall based on their merit and usefulness and not because “this what we’ve always done”.
        The societies where families don’t always share last names include the USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Greece, China, Spain, and most of the rest of Europe and South America. To claim that these societies are not healthy would be absurd, and to claim they aren’t healthy due to families not sharing a last name is even more absurd to the point of it being comical. Are you really *that* lacking in rationality?
        It also seems necessary to point out that many women in Japan, as shown by this lawsuit, aren’t actively using their husband’s name, yet these families remain intact and stable. As I have already pointed out, if having different names were going to cause the collapse of society and return to barbarianism, then society would be quite well-collapsed by now, and by your logic we all should be living in caves.
        Do you know who engineers society? Society does, all by itself. All progress, all change, comes from people realizing there are better ways to live.
        I’m done here. This is just getting silly.

      • skillet

        Actually, the huge threat is matriarchal cultures. Because as the feminists demand more and more protection, intervention and support from the state in contrast to male individualism and grassroots self-reliance, there is a lapse into totarlitarianism, surveillance state,police state, declining entrepreneurship, thought and speech control codes.

        Even feminist literature points to men as having a tendency toward rugged individualism, but then go on to charecterize it as selfishness. (I have actually taken gender studies !)

        As feminists gain preeminence, it will be harder to maintain a culture of constitutional freedoms and liberty. Just look at the situation on college campuses today where free speech is not allowed.

        We are being oppressed by matriarchy.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Then as I understand it, you don’t believe taking different surnames is immoral or unethical. What you’re basing your opinion on is your personal determination in how relationships should run. Is that right?

        But tell me…is it accurate to judge other people’s relationships by your own personal standards? I mentioned before that what makes one person happy may not make another person happy. Shouldn’t individuals be free to pursue happiness in their own way, as long as what they’re doing isn’t immoral, unethical, or harmful to others?

        For example, couples enjoy varying degrees of togetherness. Some couples spend all their free time together and never spend a night apart. Other couples spend more time apart, e.g., even take separate vacations.

        Studies have shown that couples who respect the other’s individual differences and autonomy are the most successful. Yet I’ve found that a lot of couples who are joined at the hip constantly critisize couples who are more independent, and judge their relationships as less loving, less intimate, and less successful.

        I think this shows that it’s impossible to make accurate judgments of other couple’s happiness based on one’s own personal standards.

        I also think it shows that people are often unable to empathize with those who have a different point of view, and are too often ready to dtand in judgment on something they simply don’t understand.

        Could it be, then, that you are wrong in your assertion that a couple who takes the same surname will be more stable than one that takes different ones? Could your judgment be inaccurate simply because this particular relationship dynamic is just something you can’t empathize with or understand?

        Me, I find it difficult to understand why couples are so often joined at the hip! LOL.. :) But I refrain from judging them, and I believe them when they say this is what makes them happy. I also would not dream of trying to interfere via legislation.

        That’s why I ask you: do you think it’s moral or right to force a relationship dynamic, in this case a name change, on couples who say it doesn’t make them happy?

      • Resa Bennett

        Actually, poll numbers vary – keeping the law does not have a majority in all of them. And it’s possible that some supporters do think it’s sexist, but they’re okay with that.

      • Blair

        By the same argument, the Japanese identify themselves by their core values. Of which one is the family unit. The institution of marriage as legally defined by the Japanese court of law is one that requires a single surname. Who are you to judge what the Japanese identify as worthy of upholding as tradition and representative of their core values. The law equally recognizes the right for either partner to assume the other’s surname. The Japanese feel the single name better represents the single unit, the family.

      • skillet

        Being drama queen can help win a court case. That is the oldest trick in the book. In any trial where hysterics are deftly performed, the pay-out is higher.

        Talented actors do well financially.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Why? I don’t understand why this would bother you so much. After all, it’s not as though it affects you or your life in any way.

        It’s kind of like arguing that everyone else needs to get married in a white dress in a Christian ceremony, because that’s what you think is right.

        Choices, you know? :)

      • Blair

        It doesn’t really bother me “so” much. I’m merely taking my English for a walk. My life is entirely in Japanese…I need the exercise

      • blondein_tokyo

        Why? I don’t understand why this would bother you so much. After all, it’s not as though it affects you or your life in any way.

        It’s kind of like arguing that everyone else needs to get married in a white dress in a Christian ceremony, because that’s what you think is right.

        Choices, you know? :)

      • blondein_tokyo

        I understand your beliefs, and I don’t think you’re wrong. Every person has their own idea of what marriage entails, and the right to seek out what makes them happy. For some people, that means identifying as a family unit, and in a sense, giving up their individuality.

        But that isn’t what makes everyone happy, as this lawsuit clearly shows. The women suing felt the loss of their personal identity, as symbolized by their birth name, was akin to losing themselves.

        In their view, which I understand as I feel quite similar, having an identity separate from the family unit is important to their sense of self. I feel that way about marriage, myself, and I have no intention of ever getting married because I just don’t believe in it. I would be upset indeed if someone were to insist that since I have a long term partner, I should be forced to take on the label of “marriage” or be forced to give up my family name. That would feel very much like I was stripped of the vital freedom of the right to self-identify.

        It really is a simple matter of personal feelings and preferences, and since having separate surnames hurts no one and contributes to the individual’s happiness, why is it even anyone’s business but their own?

        The argument that separate names hurts family bonds is provably false, since various cultures around the world have the tradition of separate surnames for married couples. In Pakistan, for example, or China.

        The children can have either the father or mother’s name, or else they can hyphenate, as they see fit. When the kids get older, they can even chose to change their name.

        The argument that this will harm families is pure made-up, rhetorical nonsense put forth by sexist, elderly men who simply want to force their own personal beliefs about marriage and family onto people who don’t want them.

        Well, one thing is for certain. No one can force me to marry, no one can force me to have kids, and no one can force me to change my name just because I’m in a long term relationship. And that doesn’t, by any means, make my relationship any less than someone else’s.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. ”

        That also isn’t the only issue, a lot of men are often well into their career when they get married, meaning their changing their name will mean a lot more trouble for themselves and their companies, where a lot of women in Japan are expected that they will be quitting when they have a child anyway, so if a woman changes her name and it affects her career? Who cares, she is going to quit to have children anyway.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. ”

        That also isn’t the only issue, a lot of men are often well into their career when they get married, meaning their changing their name will mean a lot more trouble for themselves and their companies, where a lot of women in Japan are expected that they will be quitting when they have a child anyway, so if a woman changes her name and it affects her career? Who cares, she is going to quit to have children anyway.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. ”

        That also isn’t the only issue, a lot of men are often well into their career when they get married, meaning their changing their name will mean a lot more trouble for themselves and their companies, where a lot of women in Japan are expected that they will be quitting when they have a child anyway, so if a woman changes her name and it affects her career? Who cares, she is going to quit to have children anyway.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. ”

        That also isn’t the only issue, a lot of men are often well into their career when they get married, meaning their changing their name will mean a lot more trouble for themselves and their companies, where a lot of women in Japan are expected that they will be quitting when they have a child anyway, so if a woman changes her name and it affects her career? Who cares, she is going to quit to have children anyway.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. ”

        That also isn’t the only issue, a lot of men are often well into their career when they get married, meaning their changing their name will mean a lot more trouble for themselves and their companies, where a lot of women in Japan are expected that they will be quitting when they have a child anyway, so if a woman changes her name and it affects her career? Who cares, she is going to quit to have children anyway.

      • skillet

        Staying home with the kids a few years might help keep them off Ritalin

      • R0ninX3ph

        Oh! I get it, women working causes ADHD. Thanks for letting me know, I will make sure my wife doesn’t work after we have kids, so they don’t catch the ADHD.

      • R0ninX3ph

        Oh! I get it, women working causes ADHD. Thanks for letting me know, I will make sure my wife doesn’t work after we have kids, so they don’t catch the ADHD.

      • skillet

        Don’t insult your wife’s ability to offer better childcare than a hired helper. Who loves the baby more. The mother or a minimum wage worker at the Wal-Mart Child “Wee Care” Childcare Division Inc.

      • R0ninX3ph

        Glad you entirely understand my sarcasm. Yes, “my wife” is the important part of that statement, and not the tinfoil hat loony statement of “feminists and working women causes ADHD”.

      • R0ninX3ph

        Glad you entirely understand my sarcasm. Yes, “my wife” is the important part of that statement, and not the tinfoil hat loony statement of “feminists and working women causes ADHD”.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. ”

        That also isn’t the only issue, a lot of men are often well into their career when they get married, meaning their changing their name will mean a lot more trouble for themselves and their companies, where a lot of women in Japan are expected that they will be quitting when they have a child anyway, so if a woman changes her name and it affects her career? Who cares, she is going to quit to have children anyway.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. ”

        That also isn’t the only issue, a lot of men are often well into their career when they get married, meaning their changing their name will mean a lot more trouble for themselves and their companies, where a lot of women in Japan are expected that they will be quitting when they have a child anyway, so if a woman changes her name and it affects her career? Who cares, she is going to quit to have children anyway.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. ”

        That also isn’t the only issue, a lot of men are often well into their career when they get married, meaning their changing their name will mean a lot more trouble for themselves and their companies, where a lot of women in Japan are expected that they will be quitting when they have a child anyway, so if a woman changes her name and it affects her career? Who cares, she is going to quit to have children anyway.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. ”

        That also isn’t the only issue, a lot of men are often well into their career when they get married, meaning their changing their name will mean a lot more trouble for themselves and their companies, where a lot of women in Japan are expected that they will be quitting when they have a child anyway, so if a woman changes her name and it affects her career? Who cares, she is going to quit to have children anyway.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. ”

        That also isn’t the only issue, a lot of men are often well into their career when they get married, meaning their changing their name will mean a lot more trouble for themselves and their companies, where a lot of women in Japan are expected that they will be quitting when they have a child anyway, so if a woman changes her name and it affects her career? Who cares, she is going to quit to have children anyway.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. ”

        That also isn’t the only issue, a lot of men are often well into their career when they get married, meaning their changing their name will mean a lot more trouble for themselves and their companies, where a lot of women in Japan are expected that they will be quitting when they have a child anyway, so if a woman changes her name and it affects her career? Who cares, she is going to quit to have children anyway.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. ”

        That also isn’t the only issue, a lot of men are often well into their career when they get married, meaning their changing their name will mean a lot more trouble for themselves and their companies, where a lot of women in Japan are expected that they will be quitting when they have a child anyway, so if a woman changes her name and it affects her career? Who cares, she is going to quit to have children anyway.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. ”

        That also isn’t the only issue, a lot of men are often well into their career when they get married, meaning their changing their name will mean a lot more trouble for themselves and their companies, where a lot of women in Japan are expected that they will be quitting when they have a child anyway, so if a woman changes her name and it affects her career? Who cares, she is going to quit to have children anyway.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “Yes, it is from the tradition of a woman being given to her husband to enter into his family. That is the origin. Now, it is merely customary for the woman to take the man’s surname. ”

        That also isn’t the only issue, a lot of men are often well into their career when they get married, meaning their changing their name will mean a lot more trouble for themselves and their companies, where a lot of women in Japan are expected that they will be quitting when they have a child anyway, so if a woman changes her name and it affects her career? Who cares, she is going to quit to have children anyway.

      • Blair

        I agree, except when having children, which, to me, is the only reason to get married. Once you have children (i have 5!), good luck with that own interest, hobby thingy…In most Japanese marriages (including mine), you lose your first name the moment you have children…It’s no longer “Blair”, it’s Papa, from day 1. That’s something people should understand going in. A lot don’t and that’s why the divorce rate is so high….Marriage, i.e., family is about sacrifice. That said, their is a great reward for your sacrifices. It comes in the health and well being of your children and the love and care you get back in spades

      • skillet

        I actually agree with one thing Blonde said.

        “Especially when studies have shown that married couples who have their own interests, hobbies, and spend time away from each other actually have healthier, longer marriages”

        But families need the same name to avoid the children becoming confused.

      • Blair

        or worse, bullied

      • R0ninX3ph

        “But families need the same name to avoid the children becoming confused.”

        Says the guy whose family doesn’t have the same name, must be terribly confusing for your son.

      • skillet

        No. because he uses one name that fits linguistically and culturally in one context and another name that fits better in another context. It simplifies things.For example, in China, I would rather go by the name Wang than Brezhenski, even if the latter would be nice in Poland. Just imagine how fun it would be living in Tokyo having to hear people mispronounce a name like Blankenship or Petrocelli over and over and over.

        It also simplifies things going through customs. And it would make it easier for him to get into a sentou where they only take Japanese people. We have given him names that fit culturally.

        We can only applaud the insight of those wise men for their cultural sensitivity toward gaijin and names.

      • R0ninX3ph

        Well, its a pity your son will have to choose one name when he is no longer legally allowed to be a dual-national then.

        Poor boy will have to go through all those stresses with a name not suited for one or the other context.

      • skillet

        That is not relevant to the conversation. It is just hate. I am flagging your comment.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I think you misunderstand me, I legitimately feel for your son who will have to choose one identity or the other when he turns 22.

      • skillet

        Don’t worry. My tribe adapts well without things like safe spaces, trigger warnings etc. No “special snowflakes” under our roof !

      • skillet

        got it. point well take

    • Coalfire

      Yes, it astounds me that this strong family identity she has tied up in her family name is something she wants to actively deny her own children.

      • Blair

        ironic

  • R0ninX3ph

    I don’t understand how they can say a 6 month ban on remarriage is discriminatory and too long and then still make it so women cannot remarry for 100 days but men can still remarry the instant they are divorced…. How is that still not sexist?

    • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

      Because (all together now) ‘This is Japan!’, rushing headlong into the 19th Century.

    • KenjiAd

      Actually, there is a logic behind this remarriage moratorium for women, which has something to do with paternity dispute.

      According to some ancient Japanese law, if a woman gave birth to a baby within 300 days of divorce, the baby would be legally presumed to be her ex-husband’s baby, unless proven otherwise. So this baby, by default, would be put into the ex-husband’s koseki. If she knows the baby is the second husband’s baby, she would need to go to court to correct it.

      Now, here’s the complication. According to the same law, if a woman gave birth to a baby after 200 days of marriage, the baby would be legally presumed to be the current husband’s baby, unless proven otherwise.

      Problem is, what would happen if a baby pops out on the 201st day of marriage, but still within 300 days of the previous divorce?

      So to rectify this stupid problem (remember, the law was created way before DNA testing era), the law mandated that a woman cannot re-marry within 180 days of divorce.

      Mathematically, this moratorium doesn’t need to be 180 days. It can be as short as 100 days. That’s what this Supreme Court judges ruled.

      If you ask me, it’s all stupid in this era of DNA testing. But hey, this is Japan, so…

      • blondein_tokyo

        ….so we do things that don’t make any sense because that’s the way they have always been done.

        I mean, it’s not like we can CHANGE things, you know? That would mean um…CHANGE.

        We can’t have that.

      • skillet

        I sure would not want to get married with a girl pregnant with another dude’s baby. Why do feminists think it is a good idea to make some beta chimp pay for their party time escapades with an alpha male ?

        Maybe it has to do with money grubbing and misandry. Certainly nothing to do with morality.. The Japanese constitutional court judges have the wisdom of Solomon !

      • blondein_tokyo

        You seriously need to take a chill pill. This is going way too far, even for you. Seriously, Skillet. Just ignore the posts you don’t like.

      • skillet

        You are the one who said girls should destroy families to make an adolescent political point.

      • blondein_tokyo

        No. I did not. That is your interpretation, which as usual, is both self-serving and utterly dishonest.

      • R0ninX3ph

        Skillet you’re a nutcase.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Report his posts. Maybe JT will finally kick his butt out of here so we can have real discussions instead of having to constantly deal with a troll.

      • Blair

        just ignore posts you don’t like

      • blondein_tokyo

        You do understand the difference between someone asking a troll not to troll, and someone trolling, right?

        What an incredibly obnoxious and obtuse comment. Thought you were better than that.

      • Blair

        Sorry. I should have written”just ignore him”. Too much coffee…

      • skillet

        It is very modern liberal to want to live in a “safe space” bubble. I am a liberal of the 70’s. WHo believes in freedom of speech. It is amazing how the Berkley free speech movement spawned the “safe space” liberals of the millenial generation.

        It is sad to see how civilization declines. I want to live in a society where divergent ideas are exhanged. Modern liberals want to live in a bubble.

      • woodynatural

        you’re blond, you don’t understand lol

      • KenjiAd

        ….so we do things that don’t make any sense because that’s the way they have always been done.

        Perhaps you could interpret this incident as Japan’s reluctance for change.

        But I think it has more to do with something else – Japanese civil laws tend to put more emphasis on bureaucratic convenience over civil liberty.

        This emphasis, bureaucratic convenience >> civil liberty, probably underlies the culture shock experienced by people from western countries where the reverse is the norm.

      • R0ninX3ph

        It is stupid in the DNA testing age, but apparently, as Ive been told by Japanese posters on other articles/sites, DNA isn’t apparently infallible where-as a Meiji Era law based on just thinking they know where a baby MUST have come from because on married people would ever dare have sex, is clearly the most logical way of determining paternity.

  • R0ninX3ph

    I don’t understand how they can say a 6 month ban on remarriage is discriminatory and too long and then still make it so women cannot remarry for 100 days but men can still remarry the instant they are divorced…. How is that still not sexist?

  • skillet

    I think that is a good decision. Families should have the same name. However, for girls who marry gaijin, they have to keep the maiden name (unless they get a lawyer).

    So my wife and I have different names. And for us, it has worked beautifully. Even for my son. He has a Japanese passport with my wife’s last name. So Japanese ojii-san is happy. And my family is happy because the American passport has my last name.

    Japan has great laws that work well for both gaijin couples and Japanese family unity. My son enjoys being a chameleon. He is in Japan now and does not have to use a gaijin name.

    It is really nice they way the system works for this issue.

    • R0ninX3ph

      All that is really saying is Japan doesn’t consider your marriage to your wife as equal to that of a Japanese-Japanese marriage, by telling you that you don’t need to have he same name for the “family bond” bollocks argument.

      • skillet

        You sound like a conspiracy theorist. They’ve got tin foil hats in Japan too, I’ll betcha !

        Bless be the ties that bind !. Nothing more beautiful than the family. An institution under attack !

      • R0ninX3ph

        How on earth is allowing those who wish to retain their maiden name legally an attack on families? YOu yourself claim to be proof that two names works and the family unit is just fine, or are you lying and there is trouble in paradise?

      • skillet

        Because we have passports from different countries.

      • R0ninX3ph

        So because you have passports from different countries, that some kind of magic that makes the family work with different names, but if you had passports from the same country, then the different names would make the family collapse and fail? Got it. Thanks for clearing that up.

      • skillet

        Passports and koseki. I do not have a koseki in Japan. Only a Japanese citizen has a koseki. That is how the name is derived. There is also a konintodoke. It is all very complex. So it just makes it easier to keep sepearate names. My wife was always very loyal and wanted to take my name at first. But I have always been a very open minded equality feminist (as opposed to the 3rd wave nutcase radfems of today). So the system is fair and being fair-minded, I saw that.

        I pointed out that the system allowed everyone to have what they want with regards to children. We could give a Japanese middle name to our son he could use in Japan. Even choose a kanji from gramp’s name, something which really cheered up the old man. I could have my name in my country, they could use theirs in their country. It is all about being flexible, open minded and international. I am glad my son can use a Japanese name and not stand out like a freak show. If he dyed his hair black (light brown now) with his Asian eyes and features, he could pass for Japanese native born after a day at the beach. We are both so proud. With a little effort, he can look white here and Asian there. Perfect chameleon with James Bond like names and passports to accompany. He is like me with my folk and her with her folk. With regards to language, speaks my lingo and hers. It’s all so beautiful, and the legal jursiprudence of the insightful judges has facilitated this in no small way.

        But for people in the same country, families should have the same name. I do not understand modern egotists who want to attack family bonds and tradition. We use the arrangement to support tradition of her family and mine with children. But radfems just want to attack it because of an egotism complex they acquired in gender studies classes. It is a sort of rabid academic LGBT jealousy of the natural ability of heterosexual reproduction. (I am only speaking about LGBT and radfem politics as opposed to actual people with whom I sympathize immensely.)

        Once again, I applaud the moral insight of the Japanese judges. They are holding back the dam of radfem and LGBT political radicalism and attacks on tradition.

        Japan and Japanese people are indeed fortunate to have these wise men looking out for society and guiding social evolution.

      • R0ninX3ph

        It is nice that your family has such a strong bond despite having different names. Now, please tell me why a Japanese-Japanese couple couldn’t have the same? That is my point. The law allows for foreign-japanese marriages to be this way, and they work out fine, just as yours seems to be, so why the big push back against it for Japanese couples with the argument “it destroys the fabric of familial bonds”.

      • skillet

        Because families should have the same name.

      • R0ninX3ph

        You see no contradiction in your statement, and your family situation? Kay.

      • skillet

        I aalready explained that more than adequately.

      • R0ninX3ph

        If you truly believe that families should have the same name, and you don’t insist your wife use your name, or you use your wife’s name, it makes you a hypocrite.

      • skillet

        No, it makes me open minded and flexible. Why do you want me to force my wife to take my name ? She is happy with who she is. I have always believed in equity feminism, so when I see that not everybody has changed with the times, all I can do is shake my head. You cannot get someone to understand until they are ready.

        I have always done my best to look out for and protect the women in my family. And be sensitive to their needs. That is why I have managed to stay married for 25 years. It’s all about compromise. So I manage my own affairs.

        And leave the direction of Japanese society to those wise judges.

      • R0ninX3ph

        Now I know you’re just trolling.

      • skillet

        You called me a hypocrite. That is so rude.

      • R0ninX3ph

        If the shoe fits, Skillet. If the shoe fits.

      • skillet

        It is very leftist to resort to personal insult. I have noticed that right wingers generally stay on the level of ideas. Leftists frame their position that your failure to see the world as they do as an individual moral failure. Because for a hollow philosophy to gain dominance, it has to rely on bullying the masses into shameful conformity.

        Look at the mobs of zombies that have forced univeristy chancellers and deans to resign recently. Such as simply for expressing opinions that people should not be overly sensitive about Halloween costumes.

        It might seem like I goad the leftists at time. But that is because I recognise a dangerous mob of bullying totalitarians when I see one.

        It is all about the light of free expression.

      • Resa Bennett

        This issue has nothing to do with leftism or rightism.

      • R0ninX3ph

        It isn’t personal insult when it is accurate. You claim that families should have the same name, yet also claim your wife is “happy with who SHE is” and you shouldn’t force her to take your name, or you shouldn’t be forced to take her name.

        That is hypocritical, it is that kind of cognitive dissonance that makes you a hypocrite, it isn’t an insult, it is an accurate description. If someone says something that is hypocritical, it makes them a hypocrite. You can claim it is rude all you like, it doesn’t make it any less true.

      • skillet

        That is your view. Not mine. But it is still rude to insult people.

      • R0ninX3ph

        Cool story bro.

      • R0ninX3ph

        It is nice that your family has such a strong bond despite having different names. Now, please tell me why a Japanese-Japanese couple couldn’t have the same? That is my point. The law allows for foreign-japanese marriages to be this way, and they work out fine, just as yours seems to be, so why the big push back against it for Japanese couples with the argument “it destroys the fabric of familial bonds”.

      • R0ninX3ph

        It is nice that your family has such a strong bond despite having different names. Now, please tell me why a Japanese-Japanese couple couldn’t have the same? That is my point. The law allows for foreign-japanese marriages to be this way, and they work out fine, just as yours seems to be, so why the big push back against it for Japanese couples with the argument “it destroys the fabric of familial bonds”.

      • R0ninX3ph

        It is nice that your family has such a strong bond despite having different names. Now, please tell me why a Japanese-Japanese couple couldn’t have the same? That is my point. The law allows for foreign-japanese marriages to be this way, and they work out fine, just as yours seems to be, so why the big push back against it for Japanese couples with the argument “it destroys the fabric of familial bonds”.

      • R0ninX3ph

        It is nice that your family has such a strong bond despite having different names. Now, please tell me why a Japanese-Japanese couple couldn’t have the same? That is my point. The law allows for foreign-japanese marriages to be this way, and they work out fine, just as yours seems to be, so why the big push back against it for Japanese couples with the argument “it destroys the fabric of familial bonds”.

      • R0ninX3ph

        It is nice that your family has such a strong bond despite having different names. Now, please tell me why a Japanese-Japanese couple couldn’t have the same? That is my point. The law allows for foreign-japanese marriages to be this way, and they work out fine, just as yours seems to be, so why the big push back against it for Japanese couples with the argument “it destroys the fabric of familial bonds”.

      • R0ninX3ph

        It is nice that your family has such a strong bond despite having different names. Now, please tell me why a Japanese-Japanese couple couldn’t have the same? That is my point. The law allows for foreign-japanese marriages to be this way, and they work out fine, just as yours seems to be, so why the big push back against it for Japanese couples with the argument “it destroys the fabric of familial bonds”.

      • R0ninX3ph

        It is nice that your family has such a strong bond despite having different names. Now, please tell me why a Japanese-Japanese couple couldn’t have the same? That is my point. The law allows for foreign-japanese marriages to be this way, and they work out fine, just as yours seems to be, so why the big push back against it for Japanese couples with the argument “it destroys the fabric of familial bonds”.

      • R0ninX3ph

        So because you have passports from different countries, that some kind of magic that makes the family work with different names, but if you had passports from the same country, then the different names would make the family collapse and fail? Got it. Thanks for clearing that up.

      • skillet

        You sound like a conspiracy theorist. They’ve got tin foil hats in Japan too, I’ll betcha !

        Bless be the ties that bind !. Nothing more beautiful than the family. An institution under attack !

    • Buck

      Japanese women (and men) can change their surname that of
      a foreigners without the assistance of a lawyer after they get married. Not sure where you are getting your information.

      • skillet

        It was a pain in the early 90’s. Bureaucratic.

  • skillet

    I think that is a good decision. Families should have the same name. However, for girls who marry gaijin, they have to keep the maiden name (unless they get a lawyer).

    So my wife and I have different names. And for us, it has worked beautifully. Even for my son. He has a Japanese passport with my wife’s last name. So Japanese ojii-san is happy. And my family is happy because the American passport has my last name.

    Japan has great laws that work well for both gaijin couples and Japanese family unity. My son enjoys being a chameleon. He is in Japan now and does not have to use a gaijin name.

    It is really nice they way the system works for this issue.

  • 151E

    Ridiculous. Quite simply, the constitution should prevent the state from imposing restrictions on civil freedoms – such as what surname to use – without widely acknowledged just cause. Many things may be “deeply rooted” in society; that is, in and of itself, not a rationale for its continuation.

    • Buck

      The state does and should impose restrictions on civil freedoms.

      • 151E

        Okay, I’ll try to clarify exactly what I meant but, I warn you, I am prone to grave verbosity…

        First, I was NOT arguing, with respect to the use of surnames, that the principal of equal treatment under the law had been in any way violated.

        Second, just to be clear, the constitution defines the limits of state power, while civil and criminal law define the limits of individual agency or – as I alternatively worded it – civil freedoms (i.e. the rights of citizens).

        The state is an intersubjective fiction – that is to say, It does not objectively exist beyond its collective recognition by individuals. So I take a rather dim view of the rights of the state vs the rights of the individual, and when these rights are in conflict, I tend to side with the individual.

        An implicit contract exists between the individual and the state, in which the individual relinquishes a certain degree of agency in exchange for the protection of the state. However, I would argue that it is unjust for the state to deny citizens natural freedoms (i.e. that which the laws of physics do not proscribe) without first satisfactorily demonstrating just cause.

        For example, humans naturally form all kinds of pair-bond relationships and, despite appeals to community or cultural taboos, there is no rational argument for a legal ban on interracial or same-sex marriages. I would therefore argue that any state imposed restriction, like the 1949 South African Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, is a gross injustice and abuse of state power, and that governments should be constitutionally restrained from passing any such law.

        On the other hand, while, through most of history, taking personal vengeance was considered only natural and right, the modern state has largely claimed exclusive right to the use of punitive coercive and lethal force. Most individuals accept relinquishing their natural right to seek vendetta, because most acknowledge that sate run policing and courts provide better security for all, in contrast to private wars and revenge killings. In this case, there is compelling reason for the state to restrict individual agency.

        Finally, with regards to the use of surnames, the supreme court failed to provide a compelling argument as to why the state is justified in restricting the individual’s freedom to choose whether to use a common family name or maintain separate names. It is an arbitrary restriction that serves no useful purpose and, as such, should not be within the state’s power to dictate.

      • Buck

        A fair answer given I was not that specific. I read
        through it all and generally agree with you. What I was really looking for was
        a more concise demonstration that the Japanese Constitution (not a theoretical or
        an ideal one) actually protects individuals from this apparently grave breach
        of individual liberty. I understand changing your name can be problematic and
        adversely impacts women more than men. However, I can understand how society
        would be willing to give up this breach in personal liberty to maintain a reasonable
        custom and traditional aspect of culture to maintain family heritage. In fact,
        most every country imposes some type of customary name change or limitation on
        individuals, either after of before marriage. Even in the US various states
        have laws regulating name changes. In the West personal liberty tends to trump
        nearly all aspects of social cohesion, traditional culture, and any semblance society.
        North Americans maintain personal liberty above all else, regardless the
        consequences. Maybe that is the way forward; maybe that is the best course for
        society. Nevertheless, I can sympathize with the Japanese for attempting to
        hold onto bits of traditional culture that do not greatly impact individual
        liberty too adversely, while maintaining a culturally important component of their
        culture.

      • R0ninX3ph

        While I agree with holding onto traditions can be a strong reason people don’t want to change, the fact of the matter is, families didn’t have names until the Meiji Era when the law was written. Is around 150 years enough for it to be said it is “tradition”?

        I think that then depends on how you define tradition, and each person is going to define that very differently. It surely isn’t such an easy thing to say it is “Japanese tradition”, and even if something is traditional, doesn’t automatically make it something to be held onto.

        It is traditional (according to the bible) to stone people to death, but we have moved on from that for various reasons.

      • Buck

        Good point. I am sympathetic to the ruling, I don`t consider it a serious breach of personal liberty. In time if the Japanese change their culture and traditions and the ruling changes, then so be it. Comparing stoning people to this
        tradition is not a fair comparison, nobody is arguing to maintain a heinous practice
        like that. By extension, I am not arguing they should maintain this tradition for traditions sake. Your point about the Japanese greater population only recently even having surnames is well taken. However, the idea of maintaining
        strong family relations is rooted in Confucianism which dates back over two
        thousand years. From my limited understanding of Japanese culture and society, I can understand how creating a new family unit after marriage, with both individuals sharing a surname is a reasonable limitation on individual freedom. Perhaps, you are right and there is little need to force individuals to do so.
        I guess I just like how the Japanese try to maintain traditional cultural values while moving towards a more equal society that respects individual liberty. Various other countries for example don`t allow men to change their surname after marriage and force only women to do so. I think we would all be against that.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I am all for fostering a family bond, I just am skeptical that having the same name really has such a strong affect on said familial bond, given the millions of examples around the world showing families that exist without relying on having the same family name.

        I’m also not calling for the law to be like Korea where everyone doesn’t take the same name, some people who want to honour the tradition should be allowed to, and others who wish to not follow it should also be allowed to.

        I brought up stoning as an extreme example, there are plenty of non-extreme examples of tradition that continue to the modern day but only continue for traditions sake, like people eating Turkey for specific holidays.

        I guess my rambling point is, I don’t really buy into the “its tradition” argument, nor do I buy into the “family bond” argument for not allowing different surnames.

        Children born to parents with different family names? Sure, that can be a bureaucratic hurdle, but not something they aren’t used to dealing with in regards to Foreigners marrying and having children with Japanese citizens.

      • Blair

        Try a poll which asks Japanese people if it’s traditional for a woman to take a man’s surname at marriage. When it comes to tradition, perception is reality

      • R0ninX3ph

        I’m sure a lot of people will think it is tradition, but like I said, I don’t really buy into the “its tradition so we must always do it this way” thing.

      • Blair

        No, it’s tradition because “this is the way we do it…this is how we express our beliefs and values”

      • R0ninX3ph

        Yes, but beliefs and values change over time, but when that happens the argument often comes up “this is traditional” implying that people who hold beliefs that do not align with the tradition, are wrong.

      • Blair

        and there are those who say those whose values and beliefs align with the tradition are wrong…making value judgements about other people’s values and beliefs is what the JT comment section is all about. What you or I think about this amounts to nothing more than chatter…Like I’ve said, I merely come here to take my English for a walk. Cheers!

      • R0ninX3ph

        I’m sure a lot of people will think it is tradition, but like I said, I don’t really buy into the “its tradition so we must always do it this way” thing.

      • 151E

        The question of individual liberty vs social cohesion is an interesting one. And I too can sympathize with those who value and wish to maintain social conventions, like family naming. But surely it is possible to accommodate both positions. I very much doubt that much would change by allowing those few individuals who wish to do so, to retain separate names.

        By the way, if you’re looking for a little holiday reading, you might find Jared Diamond’s ‘The World Until Yesterday’ an interesting examination of life within traditional small scale societies vs modern states.

      • Buck

        Fair enough. If this was my home country I would probably side with you, maybe that is slightly hypocritical. I have read a lot of Jared Diamond`s work, but not that book. I will look into it.

      • Buck

        I am curious 151E, does your name refer to a
        conversation? Perhaps: [151e] to say what he can. I think, then, that he who knows anything perceives that which he knows, and, as
        it appears at present, knowledge is nothing else than perception.

      • 151E

        I am sorry to disappoint, and wish I could say otherwise, but no, it is nothing so cryptically erudite as that. I do have The Republic here on my bookshelf, but had to google Theaetetus. No, 151E rather more prosaically is a transliteration of the Japanese yojijukugo ‘ichi-go, ichi-e’, meaning ‘one time, one meeting’. Although it is typically associated with tea ceremony and the idea of being mindfully in the present, as we may never meet again, I felt a certain affinity for it, feeling that it encompasses a vital precept of the martial arts – a reminder that a single meeting is often decisive, and that there are no do-overs, no second chances.

      • 151E

        I am sorry to disappoint, and wish I could say otherwise, but no, it is nothing so cryptically erudite as that. I do have The Republic here on my bookshelf, but had to google Theaetetus. No, 151E rather more prosaically is a transliteration of the Japanese yojijukugo ‘ichi-go, ichi-e’, meaning ‘one time, one meeting’. Although it is typically associated with tea ceremony and the idea of being mindfully in the present, as we may never meet again, I felt a certain affinity for it, feeling that it encompasses a vital precept of the martial arts – a reminder that a single meeting is often decisive, and that there are no do-overs, no second chances.

      • 151E

        The question of individual liberty vs social cohesion is an interesting one. And I too can sympathize with those who value and wish to maintain social conventions, like family naming. But surely it is possible to accommodate both positions. I very much doubt that much would change by allowing those few individuals who wish to do so, to retain separate names.

        By the way, if you’re looking for a little holiday reading, you might find Jared Diamond’s ‘The World Until Yesterday’ an interesting examination of life within traditional small scale societies vs modern states.

    • skillet

      Laws should respect the organic roots of society.

      • 151E

        A rather incongruous position coming from a self-professed libertarian! I’d favour instead laws that respect individual rights, provided, of course, that they do not impinge on the rights of others.

      • skillet

        Libertarianism is the organic root of American society.

  • ElliFrank

    With the Japan Supreme Court’s misguided ruling upholding the same name requirement, Japan makes it clear that, as a nation, it is not legally committed to equal rights for women. I would have expected something like this in the 1800s or even the 1900s, but in this day and age, there is no excuse for this sexist ideology and ruling.

    • Blair

      the law is neutral

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        The law is an ass.

      • Blair

        free speech is also gender neutral

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Changed your name G.G.???

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Changed your name G.G.???

      • Blair

        a rose by any other name…

      • ElliFrank

        The law is always a reflection of those who make it — just as this ruling is a reflection of the Supreme Court members who refuse to support equal rights.

      • Coalfire

        The law is neutral. Women are under no obligation to take their husbands’ names upon marriage. Those that do are doing so of their own volition.

  • blondein_tokyo

    Women are not “free to use their maiden name in daily life” because “daily life” includes going to the bank, having a credit card and passport, a driver’s license, rental video card, hospital ID card, owning a car, and so on – which all have to carry your legal name. If all the documentation you use in daily life don’t have your maiden name on them – the name you identify with and use every day – then how can they make this claim?

    I would encourage Japanese women to refuse to get married until the government changes this ridiculous, sexist law. Or do as the woman in the original article did, and get married when you have a baby, then get divorced and take back your maiden name. :)

    I’d love to see divorce stats rise because of this. It would be hilarious if this had the unintended consequence of “tearing families apart” (as they would call it) and not “binding them together” as they claim it will.

    Marriage is defined by the people who are in it, not by some stuffy old dinosaur of a bureaucrat.

    Besides, dinosaurs eventually go extinct… :)

    • Resa Bennett

      Re: divorce, articles on this case have interviewed many couples who legally divorced or never legally married because of the name issue.

      • R0ninX3ph

        Some people have also gotten legally married just so their child was born with a legal father then divorced soon after.

    • Bec

      Sounds good! Listen to your own advice and do just that! Enjoy! ^^

    • Bec

      Sounds good! Listen to your own advice and do just that! Enjoy! ^^

    • skillet

      Leftist hate speech against the family. Sounds like Paul Alinsky in his book on how marxists can destroy a country.. Destroy the lives of the children just to make a political point.

      Jessica Valenti and Gloria Steinem would be proud of you. But that’s okay. Big Pharma produces lots of Ritalin. Which is used primarily to drug little boys.

      • blondein_tokyo

        I do not even have the slightest idea what you are talking about.

        Go home, Skillet. You’re drunk.

      • skillet

        It’s amazing how aggressively puritanical leftists are when it comes to defending their dogmatic immorality.

        I have come to the conclusion that Sodom and Gamorah were probably more anal retentive and uptight than Salem at the time of the witch trials.

        The latter was dogmatic concerning religious family values. The former dogmatic about the destruction thereof.

      • skillet

        It’s amazing how aggressively puritanical leftists are when it comes to defending their dogmatic immorality.

        I have come to the conclusion that Sodom and Gamorah were probably more anal retentive and uptight than Salem at the time of the witch trials.

        The latter was dogmatic concerning religious family values. The former dogmatic about the destruction thereof.

  • Testerty

    Well, it has nothing to do with constitutional right. It is a cultural thing. The surname issue will resolve once Japanese men stop beating their wives. Therefore, the court wisely kicks the ball to the future.

  • David Bennet

    So … law on surnames not unconstitutional because it doesn’t negatively impact women’s rights too much because many women ignore it and use their maiden names, anyway!

    duh!

    (i suppose the same kind of double-think applies to the dual nationality issue: current law doesn’t negatively impact individual rights too much because many individuals ignore the law and retain dual nationality, anyway!!!!)

    • TV Monitor

      David Bennet

      Japan’s elderly judges don’t believe in equality in women’s right.

      For the record, all female constitutional judges voted it unconstitutional, so you know how Japanese women feel about it.

      • R0ninX3ph

        If only there were more than 3 of them in the Supreme Court….

      • R0ninX3ph

        If only there were more than 3 of them in the Supreme Court….

  • Christina Tsuchida

    Is the new law (on remarriage after 100 days) up-to-date? I eschew even the thought of divorce, but many women, portrayed ad nauseam on even NHK dramas, divorce late in life AFTER THEIR CHILD-BEARING YEARS ARE OVER! IF a woman has passed menopause, why must she wait 100 days?

    • R0ninX3ph

      Why should a woman be forced to wait 100 days at all in the age of DNA testing for paternity?

      • Christina Tsuchida

        I cannot give arguments for the Supreme Court, but law is generally, the world over, a thing that is handed down and grows, only slowly and in a sort of sequence, usually. DNA testing may require violations of privacy, perhaps?
        May I ask you, why should women be treated exactly as males? Does that guarantee our rights? For example, alimony has been removed for both sexes since the equality laws were enforced. Alas, women’s earning power has NOT caught up with men’s, even in the USA, let alone here in Japan. Thus, single parents who are female are for the most part in dire poverty even if the parent works long hours away from the child/ren!! Both women’s lib and children’s lib should argue here not for equality, but for justice and dual-parental responsibility. So often conflicting children’s lib and women’s lib here represent the same vector.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I’m sure DNA tests may require rejigging of privacy laws, sure, but thats no reason for arbitrarily stating that any child born within 300 days of a divorce is the child of the previous husband.

        It doesn’t allow for situations, like when a couple has been separated for any numerous reasons for a long period of time, and a woman has found a new partner and become pregnant with his child. Even if she were to file for divorce, the child would be legally the child of her previous husband if born within those 100 days. Forcing her to then go through the family court to have the records changed.

        I am saying, if you are going to bar women from remarrying for 100 days, men too should be barred from remarrying for the same amount of arbitrary time.

      • Christina Tsuchida

        In response only to your second paragraph R0ninX3ph, why should the law (I guess that is what you mean by “It”) ALLOW what is not only illegal all over the world, but even unethical? In an age of STD’s including HIV (which is usually passed on not only to the partner but to the progeny) that would be tantamount to allowing murder and suicide together. Even America, addicted to gun possession culture, does not legalise murder.

      • R0ninX3ph

        What on earth does paternity have to do with STDs?

      • R0ninX3ph

        I’m sure DNA tests may require rejigging of privacy laws, sure, but thats no reason for arbitrarily stating that any child born within 300 days of a divorce is the child of the previous husband.

        It doesn’t allow for situations, like when a couple has been separated for any numerous reasons for a long period of time, and a woman has found a new partner and become pregnant with his child. Even if she were to file for divorce, the child would be legally the child of her previous husband if born within those 100 days. Forcing her to then go through the family court to have the records changed.

        I am saying, if you are going to bar women from remarrying for 100 days, men too should be barred from remarrying for the same amount of arbitrary time.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I’m sure DNA tests may require rejigging of privacy laws, sure, but thats no reason for arbitrarily stating that any child born within 300 days of a divorce is the child of the previous husband.

        It doesn’t allow for situations, like when a couple has been separated for any numerous reasons for a long period of time, and a woman has found a new partner and become pregnant with his child. Even if she were to file for divorce, the child would be legally the child of her previous husband if born within those 100 days. Forcing her to then go through the family court to have the records changed.

        I am saying, if you are going to bar women from remarrying for 100 days, men too should be barred from remarrying for the same amount of arbitrary time.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I’m sure DNA tests may require rejigging of privacy laws, sure, but thats no reason for arbitrarily stating that any child born within 300 days of a divorce is the child of the previous husband.

        It doesn’t allow for situations, like when a couple has been separated for any numerous reasons for a long period of time, and a woman has found a new partner and become pregnant with his child. Even if she were to file for divorce, the child would be legally the child of her previous husband if born within those 100 days. Forcing her to then go through the family court to have the records changed.

        I am saying, if you are going to bar women from remarrying for 100 days, men too should be barred from remarrying for the same amount of arbitrary time.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I’m sure DNA tests may require rejigging of privacy laws, sure, but thats no reason for arbitrarily stating that any child born within 300 days of a divorce is the child of the previous husband.

        It doesn’t allow for situations, like when a couple has been separated for any numerous reasons for a long period of time, and a woman has found a new partner and become pregnant with his child. Even if she were to file for divorce, the child would be legally the child of her previous husband if born within those 100 days. Forcing her to then go through the family court to have the records changed.

        I am saying, if you are going to bar women from remarrying for 100 days, men too should be barred from remarrying for the same amount of arbitrary time.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I’m sure DNA tests may require rejigging of privacy laws, sure, but thats no reason for arbitrarily stating that any child born within 300 days of a divorce is the child of the previous husband.

        It doesn’t allow for situations, like when a couple has been separated for any numerous reasons for a long period of time, and a woman has found a new partner and become pregnant with his child. Even if she were to file for divorce, the child would be legally the child of her previous husband if born within those 100 days. Forcing her to then go through the family court to have the records changed.

        I am saying, if you are going to bar women from remarrying for 100 days, men too should be barred from remarrying for the same amount of arbitrary time.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I’m sure DNA tests may require rejigging of privacy laws, sure, but thats no reason for arbitrarily stating that any child born within 300 days of a divorce is the child of the previous husband.

        It doesn’t allow for situations, like when a couple has been separated for any numerous reasons for a long period of time, and a woman has found a new partner and become pregnant with his child. Even if she were to file for divorce, the child would be legally the child of her previous husband if born within those 100 days. Forcing her to then go through the family court to have the records changed.

        I am saying, if you are going to bar women from remarrying for 100 days, men too should be barred from remarrying for the same amount of arbitrary time.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I’m sure DNA tests may require rejigging of privacy laws, sure, but thats no reason for arbitrarily stating that any child born within 300 days of a divorce is the child of the previous husband.

        It doesn’t allow for situations, like when a couple has been separated for any numerous reasons for a long period of time, and a woman has found a new partner and become pregnant with his child. Even if she were to file for divorce, the child would be legally the child of her previous husband if born within those 100 days. Forcing her to then go through the family court to have the records changed.

        I am saying, if you are going to bar women from remarrying for 100 days, men too should be barred from remarrying for the same amount of arbitrary time.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I’m sure DNA tests may require rejigging of privacy laws, sure, but thats no reason for arbitrarily stating that any child born within 300 days of a divorce is the child of the previous husband.

        It doesn’t allow for situations, like when a couple has been separated for any numerous reasons for a long period of time, and a woman has found a new partner and become pregnant with his child. Even if she were to file for divorce, the child would be legally the child of her previous husband if born within those 100 days. Forcing her to then go through the family court to have the records changed.

        I am saying, if you are going to bar women from remarrying for 100 days, men too should be barred from remarrying for the same amount of arbitrary time.

    • R0ninX3ph

      Why should a woman be forced to wait 100 days at all in the age of DNA testing for paternity?

    • R0ninX3ph

      Why should a woman be forced to wait 100 days at all in the age of DNA testing for paternity?

    • R0ninX3ph

      Why should a woman be forced to wait 100 days at all in the age of DNA testing for paternity?

    • R0ninX3ph

      Why should a woman be forced to wait 100 days at all in the age of DNA testing for paternity?

    • R0ninX3ph

      Why should a woman be forced to wait 100 days at all in the age of DNA testing for paternity?

    • R0ninX3ph

      Why should a woman be forced to wait 100 days at all in the age of DNA testing for paternity?

  • montaigne1

    A group of mostly conservative old men voted this way? Wow, I’m shocked. (sarcasm)

    • skillet

      Gender stereotyping and discrimination. This comment should be flagged.

      • Buck

        Good point, if someone said the opposite the poster would
        be heckled out of the forum.

    • skillet

      Gender stereotyping and discrimination. This comment should be flagged.

    • skillet

      Age discrimination !

      • R0ninX3ph

        Is it discrimination when they are just describing the group? The Japanese Supreme court justices ARE mostly conservative old men.

        Describing people is too mean!!!!

      • skillet

        No, that was age-ism used in derogatory terms. Not just a description. But older male is not a protected group, so maybe you did not notice.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I am assuming you say that because of the sarcastic comment at the end? Then sure, I can see the point, but… It isn’t shocking that conservative, traditional thinking old men upheld the status quo.

        Please explain to me though, if my statement above is also ageist.

      • skillet

        You used the word old in a derogatory manner. I know lots of elderly people who are very nice. Some of them are even (Gasp !) male.

      • skillet

        Actually, I do not think you were excessively racist or sexist at all. I was just illustrating to you the pettiness of “speech police”. The only way to teach a remedy to PC is experientially.

        It’s not fun, is it ? Even people who think they are fighting bigotry but use bigotry need to be given a taste of their own medicine.

        But I enjoyed seeing you sweat to justify yourself.

      • R0ninX3ph

        “But I enjoyed seeing you sweat to justify yourself.”

        I know it might be difficult to keep track of who says what, but I wasn’t the original person you replied to. I just simply said I didn’t think describing people is discriminatory. Which, is actually quite the opposite of being obsessed with political correctness. I believe in adjectives being just that, adjectives.

      • skillet

        Got it. Point well taken

      • R0ninX3ph

        “But I enjoyed seeing you sweat to justify yourself.”

        I know it might be difficult to keep track of who says what, but I wasn’t the original person you replied to. I just simply said I didn’t think describing people is discriminatory. Which, is actually quite the opposite of being obsessed with political correctness. I believe in adjectives being just that, adjectives.

      • skillet

        No, it gives the impression that they are incapable of thinking properly on the issue because of their age or gender. That is discrimination.

  • montaigne1

    A group of mostly conservative old men voted this way? Wow, I’m shocked. (sarcasm)

  • Jr. Mackeltom

    And so the article is deleted.