Lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party have urged local party assembly members to shun a move that supports a legal revision allowing separate surnames for married couples, according to party sources.

In what could be construed as applying pressure, a group of LDP lawmakers sent a written request to the members, the sources said Wednesday. The group also includes Tamayo Marukawa, who recently took over as minister in charge of women's empowerment and gender equality.

The 50 LDP lawmakers from both houses of the Diet asked in a letter dated Jan. 30 that the members reject in their local assemblies a written opinion in favor of a policy change for different surnames.