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Japan court's surnames decision heralds creeping judicial activism

Politeness prevents open debate surrounding threshold constitutional principles

| Japan
Japan's top court again ruled last month that laws forcing married couples to use the same surname are constitutional, upholding a Supreme Court judgment from 2015.   © Reuters

Stephen Givens is a corporate lawyer based in Tokyo.

The Japanese Supreme Court's recent decision upholding the constitutionality of the Civil Code requirement that married couples have the same surname is a window into the current state of Japanese constitutional jurisprudence.

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