Spouses Must Have Same Surname, Japan's Top Court Rules

Japan’s top court upheld a law Wednesday requiring spouses to adopt the same surname, NBC News reported.

A group of five men and women challenged the legislation, which dates back to 1896. The group alleged it violated their personal dignity and their right to freedom of marriage.

The law doesn’t specify which spouse’s surname that must be used. Japan’s 2014 census shows 96 percent of women take on their husband’s surname. 

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