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Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 15:00 - 16:00

Izumi Onji, Plaintiff of the Lawsuit "Separate Surnames for Married Couples"

Fujiko Sakakibara, Head of Defense Counsel

Toshihiko Noguchi, Secretariat of Defense Counsel

(The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation)

"Separate Surnames for Married Couples"

For years, legal scholars have challenged an article in Japan's civil code that says married couples must use the same surname. On October 2nd, they received their latest setback when the Tokyo District Court ruled that the code does not violate the constitution.

Campaigners will have another chance next month with rulings due in Hiroshima District Court and Tokyo District Court Tachikawa. Izumi Onji, one of the plaintiffs, has agreed to come to the FCCJ with two lawyers and explain their case.

Introduced in the Meiji era, the code is a hangover from an outdated patriarchal system that no longer reflects society, say those who want it replaced. There are many women who do not wish to change their surnames but are compelled to do so, influenced by custom and social pressure. No other country legally obliges married couples to adopt the same surnames after marriage, argue the campaigners.

This is a good opportunity to get on top of this important story before the next court judgment on November 14th.

Doors open for TV crews only at 14:15, all others at 14:30. Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation. Livestreaming of press conferences are available on our website (

*Due to space restrictions, please note there will be a limited number of reservations to attend. FCCJ members, including TV cameras, will have priority for the reservation and seating/setting positions and one TV camera for affiliate networks.

Professional Activities Committee

Nov 13 19 PC Izumi OnjiFujiko Sakakibara  Toshihiko Noguchi015


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