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Japan relaxes rules for maiden names on passports

Changes take effect in April to reduce hassle factor for globe-trotters

The passport holder's maiden name is displayed in parentheses after the surname. When the change takes effect, the maiden name will have the description "former surname" above it. (Photo by Masaya Kato)

TOKYO -- Maiden names will soon be easier to include on Japanese passports and clearly labeled when they appear, making life simpler for citizens at the application counter and abroad.

Japanese wanting to include maiden names on passports currently submit official copies of family registries. They also provide documentation to justify the request, such as those using maiden names at work making business trips overseas. 

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