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Tuesday, 15th February 2011
In General Japan News,

Married name law faces Japanese opposition

A number of Japanese citizens are hoping to have a 19th century law overturned that forces them to share the same surname as their partner.

The law means that many women are forced to take their husband's name when they tie the knot, although the husband can alternatively adopt his new partner's name but this is rarely done.

According to the four women and one man who have taken the legal action, the law violates Japan's constitutional guarantee of equal rights in a marriage and believe the law should be overturned.

However, many conservative members of Japan's society believe that the issue helps to strengthen family ties and values.

Kyoko Tsukamoto told the BBC that being forced to use her husband's name was "like having a splinter in my heart".

She added: "I'm happy to file the lawsuit together with my companions who have the same ambition."

Kaori Shorji, writing for the Japan Times, recently claimed that many Japanese households do not believe romantic love within marriage is necessary or desirable.

Written by Mark Smith.