Japanese couple goes to court after dual surname marriage rejected

NHK -- Jul 04
A Japanese couple has asked a family court to let them register their marriage under separate surnames in Japan as they did in the United States.

Movie director Soda Kazuhiro and his wife movie producer Kashiwagi Kiyoko filed the request on Monday at the Tokyo Family Court.

They tried to register their marriage at Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward in June. But municipal authorities rejected their application, citing the Civil Code that requires couples to share a surname.

They tied the knot in New York State in 1997.

Soda and Kashiwagi filed a lawsuit against the government four years ago, requesting that their marriage be legally recognized in Japan.

The Tokyo District Court ruled last year that the marriage is valid in Japan. But it dismissed the issue of whether it could be registered. The court said family court was the appropriate place to handle the issue of the registration system.

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