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‘Allow couples have separate surnames’

Japan’s largest business group, the Japan Business Federation, has urged the government to revise the law requiring married couples to share a single family name.

The group, which represents over 1,500 member companies and 150 business organizations, believes that the current law is a “business risk” that disproportionately affects women.

The issue of separate surnames for married couples has been a topic of debate in Japan for years. The country’s law requires couples to choose either the husband’s or the wife’s surname, with about 95% of women taking their husband’s name.

However, this can create practical problems in everyday life, such as difficulties in booking hotels or being cited in research papers.The Japan Business Federation argues that the current law is not only a personal issue but also a business risk.

The group claims that it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to manage the names and identities of their employees, particularly women who are promoted to senior positions.

This can lead to errors and complications in areas such as payroll, benefits, and human resources.

The group’s call for change is part of a growing movement in Japan to recognize the importance of individual freedom and equality.

Several lawsuits have been filed over the issue in recent years, with plaintiffs arguing that the current law is discriminatory and violates the Constitution’s guarantees of equality and freedom.

The Japan Business Federation’s chairman, Masakazu Tokura, emphasized that the issue is not just about personal freedom but also about promoting gender equality and diversity in the workplace.

The group’s advocacy for separate surnames for married couples is seen as a significant step towards addressing the long-standing issue in Japan.

The government has been slow to respond to the calls for change, with some politicians arguing that having a single family name is important to promote family ties and traditional values.

However, the Japan Business Federation’s advocacy may help to accelerate the discussion on this issue and push for meaningful reforms.

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