Common surname a must for married couples in Japan: SC

Tokyo: Japan's Supreme Court has ruled that requiring married couples to have the same surname is constitutional, dealing a blow to a longtime effort for gender equality in choosing names.

Lawyers and their supporters hold a banner which says “unconstitutionality judgement” outside of Japan’s Supreme Court in Tokyo yesterday. Pic/AFPLawyers and their supporters hold a banner which says "unconstitutionality judgement” outside of Japan's Supreme Court in Tokyo yesterday. Pic/AFP

The law does not say which partner must give up his or her name in marriage. In practice it has almost always been the woman who took the husband's name.

Some women say that is unfair and feel as though their identity is lost. The ruling was handed down yesterday.

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