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Four opposition parties submit bill to allow married couples to use separate surnames

The Democratic Party, Japanese Communist Party, Social Democratic Party, and People’s Life Party on May 12 jointly submitted to the Diet revisions to the Civil Code that would allow married couples to use separate surnames. However, a consensus has not been reached on the subject by the ruling parties, so the chances of the bill being deliberated in the current Diet session are slim.


The bill stipulates that surnames of children shall be determined upon birth through consultations between couples. For marriages taking place before the revisions enter into force, couples can switch to separate names based on mutual agreement within two years of enforcement.


The opposition parties submitted a similar bill last year, but it was not deliberated and was scrapped.


The bill also calls for reducing the period for which women are prohibited from remarrying from the current six months to 100 days. The government has submitted a similar bill to the Diet and is aiming to have it enacted during the current session.


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