Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

In 500 years, all Japanese people may have the same surname: what could be the reason< /p> In Japan, one last name may overtake others in half a century/freepik

In 500 years, all Japanese citizens will have the same surname, according to a new study conducted as part of a campaign to update the civil code adopted in the late 1800s last name.

This could happen if married couples are not allowed to use different surnames. A study led by Hiroshi Yoshida, a professor of economics at Tohoku University, has shown that if Japan continues to insist that couples choose the same surname, by 2531 every Japanese person will be known as “Sato-san”, writes The Guardian.

What the scientists' predictions are based on

Yoshida acknowledged that his predictions are based on several assumptions, but said the idea was to use numbers to explain the potential impact of the current system on Japanese society to draw attention to this problem.

If everyone becomes Sato, we may have to be addressed by name or number. I don't think it would be a good world to live in,
he said, according to Mainity.

According to a survey conducted in March 2023, Sato is already leading the list of Japanese surnames, accounting for 1.5% of the total population, and Suzuki is in second place.

Some social media users mistakenly assumed the study, first reported on Monday but published in March, was an April Fool's joke, but Yoshida said he wanted it to give people time to think.

A satos nation “will not only be inconvenient but also undermine individual dignity,” he said, according to the Asahi Shimbun, adding that the trend would also lead to the loss of family and regional heritage.

According to Yoshida's calculations, the proportion of Japanese with the name Sato increased 1.0083 times from 2022 to 2023. Assuming this rate remains unchanged and no changes are made to the surname law, about half of Japan's population will have this name in 2446, rising to 100% in 2531.

Couples in Japan have to choose which surname to share when they get married, but in 95% of cases it is the woman who changes her surname.

However, the picture would be different if the Japanese government bowed to growing pressure and allowed married couples to use separate surnames.

The study provides an alternative scenario extrapolated from a 2022 survey by the Japan Confederation of Trade Unions, in which 39.3% of 1,000 workers aged 20 to 59 said theywould like to have a joint last name even if they had the option of using separate surnames.

Under these circumstances, Yoshida, whose research was commissioned by the Think Name Project and other organizations that want to legitimize surname choice, predicted that by 2531, only 7.96% of Japan's population will bear the surname Sato, reports the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper.

In 500 years, all Japanese people may have the same surname: what could be the reason

In Japan, mostly women take their husband's surname/Photo by freepik popularity of the surname – may one day disappear.

Although the government has allowed maiden names to appear alongside married names on passports, driver's licenses and residence permits, Japan remains the only country in the world that requires that the couple used the same name.

Conservative members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) say changing the law will “undermine” family unity and cause confusion among children.< /p>

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