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Japanese marital surname law faces legal challenge
Five people in Japan are poised to launch an unprecedented lawsuit against the government, claiming that a civil law forcing them to choose a single surname after marriage violates their constitutional rights. If they succeed, married men and women will for the first time be able to retain their own surnames, dealing a blow to one of the few remaining legal obstacles to gender equality. In the vast majority of cases, women are required to relinquish their maiden name after marriage, although a small number of men take their wife's name.

(guardian.co.uk, Jan 11)

18 Apr
A police officer has been arrested for assaulting a woman on a train car in Tokyo. Police identified the suspect as Akira Inada, 53, who works at the Ushigome Station. (Japan Today)

18 Apr
An employee of the Foreign Ministry jumped to his death from the 8th floor at the ministry, police said Thursday. (Japan Today)

18 Apr
Japanese commercial music juggernaut AKB48 has added a 37-year-old mother of two to the wildly popular all-girl group as it looks to broaden the appeal of its teen-dominated line-up. (AFP)

18 Apr
Japan's Emperor and Empress have hosted more than 2,000 guests at their Spring Imperial Garden Party. (NHK)

17 Apr
Tochigi prefectural police said Thursday that they are questioning a man in his 30s over the murder of a 7-year-old girl in December 2005. Japanese media quoted police as saying that the man, who was arrested for dealing in fake brand-name goods, has hinted at his involvement in the murder. (Japan Today)

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