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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 October 9 - 15  > PM Abe makes false claim that selective dual surname system has little public support
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2019 October 9 - 15 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

PM Abe makes false claim that selective dual surname system has little public support

October 12, 2019
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo in his response to an interpellation made by Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira distorted the latest government data showing many positive responses to the introduction of a selective dual surname system to reject demands for the system from opposition parties and concerned citizens.

At a House of Councilors plenary meeting on October 9, urged by Koike to introduce a separate surname system, PM Abe said that according to Cabinet Office survey data, the system failed to obtain enough support to begin discussions.

The data which PM Abe cited were the results of a survey on family legislation conducted by the Cabinet Office between November and December 2017 that was released in February 2018.

In the survey, however, asked about a selective separate surname system, 42.5% expressed their support for the introduction of this system. The percentage of those who opposed the system stood at 29.3%. In the same survey, 24.4% of the respondents demanded the creation of legislation allowing the use of maiden names after marriage.

More and more local assemblies have adopted a statement in favor of the introduction of a system enabling married couples to use separate surnames. Their statement based on the Cabinet Office survey states that the number of people who take a favorable stance toward a system giving married couples an option on whether to share the same last name is larger than that of those opposing the system.

In legal actions calling for the introduction of a selective separate surname system, courts have recognized that compared with the 2012 survey, the 2017 survey indicated an upward trend of the percentage of people in support of the system.

Past related articles:
> Abe rejects dual surname system saying, ‘It will hardly contribute to economic growth’ [ July 3, 2019]
> Gov't discourages artistic expression by withdrawing subsidies [September 26 & 27, 2019]
> Majority of Aichi Triennale artists call for reopening of ‘shuttered’ exhibition [August 7, 2019]
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