2022 年 101 巻 p. 255-273
This paper analyzes the position of, and claims made by major Japanese newspapers, on the discussion whether married couples should be allowed to retain their surnames, and considers whether those claims are valid.
I analyzed 152 editorials from five national newspapers published from December 24, 1992, to December 9, 2021. The method of analysis was a computer-based quantitative text analysis, and the position of each paper was clarified by referring to the actual description based on the words appearing frequently in the editorials and the ones co-occurring with them.
According to the analysis, the Asahi Shimbun, which has published the largest number of editorials mentioning married couples’ surnames, was the first to insist on the introduction of the system to allow people to retain their surnames after marriage. The Mainichi and the Nikkei Shimbun also promoted this idea. However, the Yomiuri Shimbun was a little cautious about introducing the system, and the Sankei Shimbun strongly opposed it.
The Sankei Shimbun seems to be unfair in that it does not impress upon this system independently, but discusses it as a problem in the editorials on other subjects, primarily criticism of the Democratic Party of Japan. In addition, the Sankei Shimbun emphasizes the family rather than the human rights of women, ignoring the fact that the system for forcing married couples to hold the same surname has been internationally accepted as discriminating against women.
As such, the Sankei Shimbun should be criticized for promoting Gender Free Bashing (GFB).