And finally… words matter

And finally... words matter

A new analysis of Japan’s unusual naming law has concluded that everyone in the country will share the name “Sato” in around 500 years’ time.

Japanese law requires married couples to both adopt one of their surnames, with nearly 95 per cent of women taking their husbands’ name.

If this doesn’t change, Sato – currently the most common surname in Japan – will shared by half of the Japanese population by 2446 and ultimately become the only surname in Japan by 2531, researchers claim.

Hiroshi Yoshida, professor of economy at Tohoku University’s Research Center for Aged Economy and Society, said this “will not only be inconvenient but also undermine individual dignity”, The Asahi Shimbun reports.

Business groups have joined calls for legal reform allowing married couples to have separate surnames.

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