I am an American female citizen marrying a dual (Japanese & American) citizen man and I know that Japan has a law that states that Japanese women have to change their last name when they get married. I have my number in Japan, so I exist in their system there, but we live in the USA and are planning to get married here. When we get married, I would like to keep my last name. However when we notify the Japanese government, will I have to change my registered name in Japan?

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    What is your question? Jul 13, 2021 at 19:34
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    What is very important: Where do you get married? That makes a huge difference. Often the country where you get married insists that everything is done according to its rules. And other countries will often just accept that you are married, and don't question the rules of the other country.
    – gnasher729
    Jul 13, 2021 at 20:26
  • I added the necessary punctuation, so I believe the question is clear now. Leaving this open.
    – ouflak
    Jul 15, 2021 at 6:50
  • @ouflak Thanks, clear to me now. Retracted my close vote, Jul 15, 2021 at 14:53
  • @ouflak thank you Jul 20, 2021 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


I am an American man who married a Japanese woman. We got married here in Japan and each kept our own last names. The kids have mine on their US passports and hers on their Japanese passports. It might be illegal in the eyes of the high courts or something, but it's not a problem. The biggest thing is the family registry. Technically my wife is head of the family and started a completely new tree when we got married. I'm on it but more of a footnote. I think technically it's not illegal, but not exactly by the book either. Don't worry about it.

  • It's not illegal at all, it's completely normal and fine. For your kids, I can tell you having different names in different countries can be a pain though... Oct 30, 2022 at 10:21

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