Keidanren urges legal revision to allow married couples to use separate surnames

The Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, has called on three Cabinet ministers to revise legislation as soon as possible to allow married couples to use separate surnames.

On Friday, the head of Keidanren's diversity promotion panel, Uotani Masahiko, and others met separately with Justice Minister Koizumi Ryuji, Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko and Women's Empowerment Minister Kato Ayuko. They handed the ministers their proposal compiled earlier this month.

The proposal says the current legal provision banning the use of separate surnames amid the expanding roles of women could be poorly understood internationally and pose business risks.

It also says public awareness and the social environment are changing and there is increasing momentum for revising the rule.

Justice Minister Koizumi replied that there are various opinions on the issue, and he hopes to conduct a broad discussion with the participation of many people.