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Is it legal to marry your first cousin in Japan?

1. Introduction

Marriage is a major event in any culture, and Japan is no exception. In Japan, the law has long been clear on who can and cannot marry, with certain restrictions in place to protect the rights of both parties involved. As such, it is important to understand the legal status of first cousin marriages in Japan before making any decisions. This article will explore the current legal status of first cousin marriages in Japan, as well as the social stigma that often surrounds them. It will also discuss the genetic risks associated with such unions and how other countries handle the issue of first cousins marrying.

2. Historical Context of Marriage in Japan

Marriage has always been an important part of Japanese culture, with families playing a central role in arranging marriages for their children. Traditionally, marriage was seen as a way to strengthen family ties and ensure that property would remain within families for generations to come. In addition to this, marriage was also seen as a way for a family to gain social status or prestige within their community.

Japanese Snack Box

Until 1945, Japanese law prohibited marriage between close relatives such as first cousins or siblings. After World War II, however, this law was abolished and replaced by a new civil code which allowed people to marry anyone they wished without restriction from the government.

3. The Current Legal Status of First Cousin Marriages in Japan

Today, first cousin marriages are legal in Japan provided they meet certain conditions set out by the government. According to Article 733-1 of the Civil Code of Japan: “A person may not marry his/her lineal ascendant or descendant; brother or sister; uncle or aunt; nephew or niece; grandparent’s brother or sister; grandchild’s brother or sister.” This means that while it is possible for two cousins to marry each other legally in Japan, it must be done so with permission from both sets of parents and all relevant authorities involved (e.g., local government offices).

4. The Social Stigma Surrounding First Cousin Marriages in Japan

Despite being legally permissible under certain circumstances, first cousin marriages are still generally frowned upon by many people within Japanese society due to traditional beliefs about incestuous relationships being immoral and unnatural. This stigma is so strong that many couples who do choose to marry their cousins often do so secretly and without informing their families or friends about it until after they have tied the knot officially.

5 Genetic Risks Associated with First Cousin Marriages

Although there are no laws prohibiting first cousin marriages specifically due to genetic risks associated with them (as there are in some other countries), medical experts still advise against them due to potential health issues that may arise from such unions due to increased risk for recessive genetic disorders being passed down through generations within one family line if both partners share similar genes from common ancestors on both sides of their family tree (i.e., their parents’ side).

6 The Pros and Cons of First Cousin Marriages in Japan

The pros and cons associated with first cousin marriages vary depending on individual circumstances but generally speaking there can be some benefits as well as drawbacks depending on how much information is known about one’s family history prior to entering into such a union (i.e., if both partners know exactly what genes they carry before making any decisions). On one hand, marrying one’s cousin can provide stability within families by allowing property rights and wealth to remain within close circles while at the same time providing an opportunity for two people who have known each other since childhood (and thus may have more trust between them) an opportunity for marriage if they choose so desire it without having to look outside their immediate circle for potential spouses who may not share similar values or interests as closely as their own kin might be able to provide them with.On the other hand however there is always the risk that any children born out of such unions may be subject increased levels of genetic disorders which could lead serious health complications down the line if not addressed properly through proper medical care early on during childhood development years.

7 How Other Countries Handle The Issue Of First Cousins Marrying

The legality surrounding first cousins marrying varies greatly from country-to-country depending on local laws but generally speaking most countries around world either prohibit such unions altogether or else allow them under specific conditions which must met prior entering into marriage agreement (such consent from both sets parents,proof that neither partner carries any genetic defects which could passed onto offspring,etc ). For example,countries like Germany,Austria,Netherlands,Switzerland,Denmark,Norway all either prohibit first cousins marrying outright while others like United States only allow it certain states where laws permit.Meanwhile,some countries like China India actually encourage these types relationships order keep wealth property concentrated within same families.

8 Conclusion

In conclusion,while it legal for two cousins marry each other legally provided certain conditions met under Japanese law today,there still remains strong social stigma surrounding these types unions due potential genetic risks associated them.Furthermore,how other countries handle issue varies greatly depending local laws regulations so its important research thoroughly before making any final decisions.


1) “Civil Code” Ministry Of Justice – Government Of Japan https://www.japaneselawtranslation.gojp/law/detail/?id=2905&vm=04&re=02#en_731_733_1_737_740_741_742 2) “First Cousins May Marry In Some Countries Around The World” National Center For Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih

How common is first cousin marriage in Japan?

How often do cousins marry in Japan? The rates of first cousin marriages and of total consanguineous marriages for all areas are 1.6 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively. The mean inbreeding coefficient is 0.00134 for all areas of Japan.

Can you marry your sister in Japan?

Male partners must be at least 18 years of age and female partners at least 18 years of age. In Japan people under the age of 18 cannot get married without their parents consent. Most people who are related by blood or other marriage cannot get married in Japan.

What states can 1st cousins marry?

Summary State First cousin marriage allowed Sex or cohabitation allowed Alabama Yes Yes Alaska Noyes Arizona If both parties are 65 or older or one is barren Arkansas 47 Other rows

What is Japan’s age of consent?

Japan currently has the lowest age of consent among developed and G7 countries at 13. A Justice Ministry panel in Japan has proposed raising the age of consent in the country from 13 to 16. February 22 2023

How many kids can you have in Japan?

two children
Japan does not have a child policy regulating how many children a couple may have. Most Japanese, however, have one or two children. According to Japanese law, there is no limit on how many children a family have.

Do Japanese still marry their cousins?

East Asia. Cousin marriage is allowed in Japan although the incidence has declined in recent years.

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