• Kyodo

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The coronavirus pandemic has heightened distress felt by unmarried Japanese couples in long-term relationships as they face the prospect that, should one partner become ill, they would not be afforded the same rights as married couples.

Uncomfortable about relinquishing their respective family names, they felt their only option was to remain as common-law couples. For this reason, they want a change made to the civil code that would give them legal recognition as a family, changing a requirement that married Japanese couples share a name.

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