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61% in Japan Back Separate Surnames for Married Couples

A record 61% of respondents in Japan are in favor of allowing married couples to use separate surnames, a survey by a welfare ministry-affiliated think tank showed Tuesday.

The share of respondents supporting the use of different surnames rose from 50.5% in 2018, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research. The figure was 41.5% in 2013 and 42.8% in 2008.

The think tank sent forms to 16,470 households in July last year and analyzed responses from 5,518 women with spouses.

The proportion of couples who had made civil marriage registrations stood at 99.4%. Of them, 95.2% used the husbands’ surnames. The figures did not change significantly from the 2008 survey.

The latest survey also showed that 75.6% of respondents support legalizing same-sex marriage, up from 69.5% in 2018.

The average time spent on household chores on weekdays came to four hours and seven minutes per day among wives, compared with 47 minutes among husbands.

On holidays, the average stood at four hours and 36 minutes for wives and one hour and 21 minutes for husbands.

The average time spent on child rearing on weekdays stood at eight hours and 44 minutes per day among mothers and one hour and 57 minutes among fathers.

On holidays, the average came to 12 hours and four minutes for female parents and seven hours and three minutes for male parents.

The proportion of respondents who believe that wives should focus on housework while men work outside the home came to a record low of 29.5%.

The share of respondents who think mothers should not have jobs and focus on child rearing until their children are about 3 years old came to a record low of 61%.

Source: Japan Times