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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 July 8 - 14  > JCP Nihi pushes for Diet debate on bill to allow dual-surname system
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2015 July 8 - 14 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Nihi pushes for Diet debate on bill to allow dual-surname system

July 10, 2015
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Nihi Sohei on July 9 urged the government to start deliberations on a bill to revise the Civil Code in order to allow married couples to use separate surnames.

In June, the opposition Japanese Communist, Democratic, and Social Democratic parties jointly submitted the bill to the Diet. The governing coalition has been reluctant to begin debate on the measure, while moving forward with discussions over the controversial security legislation.

In an Upper House Judicial Affairs Committee meeting, Nihi referred to the fact that the United Nations has recommended that the Japanese government amend the code because the code, forcing married couples to use the same family name, runs counter to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Noting that the Judicial Ministry’s Legislative Council actually published in 1996 a report encouraging the introduction of a selective separate surname system, Nihi criticized the government for having neglected the report for two decades.

Justice Minister Kamikawa Yoko justified the government’s negligence by saying, “It is necessary to give careful consideration to this issue as there are various views.”

The JCP parliamentarian again condemned the minister, citing an opinion poll by the Nikkei in March showing that 77% of married female workers are in favor of revising the civil code.

Past related article:
> Momentum for dual-surname system is growing [April 20, 2015]
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