In the future, all Japanese could have the same surname: study

A study found that a large proportion of Japanese people could share the same surname in the future unless they change marriage laws.

Research by Tohoku University found that in the year 2500, the entire population of Japan could have the surname Sato.

This is the most common surname in this Asian country, and demographic decline and marriage regulations could have a direct impact on its popularity.

Japan is the only country in the world that still requires married couples to have the same last name. In this way, wives take their husband’s last name.

Researcher Hiroshi Yoshida was responsible for the study and showed that all Japanese in 2531 could have the surname Sato if the rules were not changed.

A study found that in the future all Japanese people could have the same surname

A study found that in the future all Japanese people could have the same surname. Photo: Freepik

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According to the study, the proportion of Japanese with the surname Sato grew more than a thousand-fold between 2022 and 2023.

Unless things change, it is estimated that half of the population will have this surname in 2446 and 100% of the population will have it in 2531.

That’s why Hiroshi Yoshida advocates changing marriage law so that couples can keep their same surname.

According to the Think Name Project, which participated in the study, 80% of citizens are comfortable with a voting system that allows them to decide whether or not to change their name.

“Generation Z and young people in particular have a high demand.” The multiple choice system means that the two previous options “woman’s last name” and “husband’s last name” become three options, with the addition “keep each Last name,” the project says.

However, this trend may change due to various factors, such as the decline in marriages. Researchers warned that laws needed to be changed to prevent a large proportion of the population from adopting the Sato surname.

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The company Myoji Yurai, which tracks more than 300,000 surnames in Japan, said Sato was the most common surname, followed by Suzuki and Takahashi.

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