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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 May 11 - 17  > Calling for more gender equality, bill to revise Civil Code jointly submitted by 4 opposition parties
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2016 May 11 - 17 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Calling for more gender equality, bill to revise Civil Code jointly submitted by 4 opposition parties

May 13, 2016
The Japanese Communist, Democratic, People’s Life, and Social Democratic parties on May 12 jointly submitted to the Diet a bill to revise provisions in the Civil Code. The proposed revisions include an introduction of a dual surname system for married couples.

The four opposition parties bill follows the December 2015 ruling of the Supreme Court which requires the Diet to discuss the introduction of a selective separate surname system. The court at that time acknowledged that a Civil Code provision imposing a six-month remarriage ban only on divorced women as unconstitutional.

The opposition parties in the bill seek to allow a married couple to use separate surnames, change the minimum marriageable age to 18 for both sexes and reduce the 6-month waiting period for remarriage to 100 days. The bill also calls for the discussion on the elimination of the remarriage ban.

In a press conference held after the submission of the bill, JCP member of the House of Representatives Hatano Kimie pointed out that 20 years have passed since the Legislative Council of the Justice Ministry decided upon a report which underlines a need to introduce a dual surname system. She stressed that the legislature should feel its responsibility for their negligence. Hatano said, “International human rights organizations repeatedly advised the Japanese government to stop forcing married couples to use the same surname and to abolish the remarriage ban. We will work to enact the bill through cross party efforts.”

The government presented to the current session of the Diet a bill to shorten the waiting period for woman to remarry after divorce to 100 days.

Past related articles:
> Japan’s top court rejects elimination of discriminatory civil code provisions against women [December 17, 2015]
> JCP Vice Chair Hiroi criticizes top court ruling disapproving dual-surname system [December 17, 2015]
> Science Council of Japan calls for introduction of separate surname system [December 5, 2015]
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