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All Japanese may have the last name Sato in the future

All Japanese may have the last name Sato in the future

A campaign is underway in the country to revamp the civil code that has been in place since the end of the 19th century.

According to a recent study, if the rule that married couples share the same surname continues, it is estimated that within 500 years all Japanese citizens will have the same surname.

The report, led by Hiroshi Yoshida, an economics professor at Tohoku University, predicts that if Japan continues to push the system, by 2531 all of its citizens will have the surname Sato.

The study considered two scenarios: one where Japan maintains a single surname system among married couples, and another where a selective surname system is introduced.

As of 2023, Sato is the most common surname in Japan, used by 1,529% of the population.

Study results

Under current norms and based on the observed increase between 2022 and 2023, the simulation shows that the proportion of the Japanese population with the surname Sato will increase by 1.0083% annually, so that by 2446 half of all Japanese will be called Sato. It reached its fullness in 2531.

The report contains an alternative view from a 2022 survey conducted by the Japan Trade Union Confederation among 1,000 workers aged 20 to 59, in which 39.3% of single respondents said they prefer married couples to use a surname. Different surnames.

Under this scenario, it is estimated that only 7.96% will be sato by 2531. Although it will finally be imposed in 3310, if Japan's population decline continues at its current rate, only 22 people will remain in the territory by then, the report says.

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Old laws should be changed

The study is part of a campaign to revamp the country's late 19th-century civil code.

While the expert emphasized that his estimate was “mechanically calculated based on an assumed scenario,” he warned local media: “If everyone becomes sado, we will have to contact ourselves by name or numbers.” “I don't think we can call it a good world to live in,” he added.

“Taking into account that a surname has a family history and is a cultural symbol, its loss would leave the surname without history,” he lamented.

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