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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 December 2 - 8  > Science Council of Japan calls for introduction of separate surname system
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2015 December 2 - 8 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Science Council of Japan calls for introduction of separate surname system

December 5, 2015
The Science Council of Japan on December 4 held a press conference in Tokyo and again called for the introduction of a separate surname system for married couples and other amendments to Japan’s Civil Code.

This action took place ahead of the Supreme Court ruling which will be made in two weeks on cases over Civil Code provisions forcing married couples to choose a single surname and imposing only on women a waiting period before getting remarried.

At the press conference, Waseda University Professor Asakura Mutsuko explained SCJ’s policy recommendation indicating that discriminatory stipulations in the Civil Code against women in regard to marriage should be amended.

In the recommendation, Japan’s leading scientific organization, representing 840,000 scientists in Japan, demanded that the legal minimum age of marriage be changed to 18 for both sexes from the current 18 for men and 16 for women, that the six-month period of ban on remarriage for newly divorced women be abolished, and that an elective dual-surname system for married couples be introduced.

Tokyo University Professor Emeritus Ueno Chizuko stressed that the recommendation represents SCJ members’ consensus. She also expressed her hope that the top court will make a fair judgement reflecting the unified opinion in the scientists’ community and the public will.

Ritsumeikan University Professor Ninomiya Shuhei said that it is unconstitutional to impose only on divorced women the unreasonable waiting period for remarriage and force married couples to use the same surname. He went on to say that the government should revise the Civil Code in the light of international human rights standards.

Past related article:
> Science Council of Japan calls for women’s minimum age for marriage to be raised to 18 [July 9, 2014]
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