Separate surnames: the breakdown of families vs. the emancipation of women by Karl Jakob Krogness, Ph.D., Ritsumeikan University

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December 21, 2009 - 10:07 -

In the last days of August, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) put a decisive end to the Liberal Democratic Party’s  (LDP) half century of practically uninterrupted rule. Soon after, 29 September, the new minister of justice, Keiko Chiba (DPJ), announced she would introduce early next year a bill for revising the Civil Code in order to introduce an optional separate surnames system for married couples. Such a bill would arguably reform the family model that has ruled Japanese social life for over a century.