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In Japan, the surname comes first. When a woman gets married — and yes, this is an issue that mainly affects women — she generally must change her name. Passports, credit cards and even formal introductions all need to change, too.

This isn’t a situation that only happens in this country, but Japan is the only nation that forces a couple to choose one joint surname, an idea that was reinforced on June 23 when the Supreme Court upheld a 2015 ruling that married couples must share a name.

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