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14 Oct 2016

Japan: Married women have no right to use their original surname at work

The Tokyo District Court has ruled that a woman employed as a teacher at a fee-paying secondary school does not have the right to continue using her orignal surname after marriage. The woman had worked at the school since 2003 and married in 2013, upon which the school insisted that she use her husband's surname at work. The panel of three male judges stated that the practice of women continuing to use their origuinal surnames had "not yet taken root in society". Japanese law requires married couples to adopt the surname of one of the spouses, and in practice the overwhelming majority of women adopt their husband's surname: however, it is more and more common for women to continue using their original surname in a professional context.