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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 July 4 - 10  > Residence right granted to spouses under the revised Civil Code
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2018 July 4 - 10 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Residence right granted to spouses under the revised Civil Code

July 8, 2018

The House of Councilors on July 6 approved a bill to revise the inheritance rules stipulated in the Civil Code for the first time in 40 years. The Japanese Communist Party supported the revision bill.

The new rules will allow the spouse of an inheritee to keep living in the same residence after partition of the estate and will also grant relatives a right to claim payments from inheritors for the "special contributions" these relatives made in looking after the inheritee.

At an Upper House Judicial Affairs Committee meeting on the day before, JCP Nihi Sohei pointed out that the revised Civil Code will still exclude different-surname couples from registered marriages, so partners in de-facto marriages or same-sex marriages will continue to be treated disadvantageously in terms of the succession of assets.

He also said, "Many women at home are forced to meet the burden of the fixed gender role such as childrearing and household maintenance. However, their work will not appropriately be assessed with regard to property succession even under the revised Civil Code."

Justice Minister Kamikawa Yoko in response admitted that the revised Civil Code "will not resolve all the problems", and expressed an intent to continue making efforts to eliminate such inequality even after the revision takes effect.

Nihi asked the minister if the administration intends to consider reviewing the definition of couples so as to accept family diversity. Kamikawa answered, "Yes."

Past related article:
> JCP Nihi demands inheritance rights for diverse couples [June 29, 2018]
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