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I had no idea this was illegal

As petty as the squabbling over Mrs. versus Ms. and maiden names versus married names can be here in the U.S., at least the choice is there. I had no idea that in a country like Japan, it is illegal to have a separate name from your spouse.


In the meantime, more conservative citizens buck against this potential change. Constitutional scholar Masaomi Takanori tells NHK public television, “Names are the best way to bind families. Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare.”


Whoa, slow down there, buddy. Your close neighbors South Korea seem to be doing pretty well with a tradition of women keeping their own last names.

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