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The “Koseki” family registration system provides official verification of a Japanese person’s name, birth date, spouse, family relationships and other personal information. This registration system has no direct bearing on foreigners. However, births, deaths, marriages and divorces that take place in Japan require the following notifications.
When a Japanese person marries a foreign resident, they must submit various documents, such as a completed marriage notification form, a copy of the Japanese person’s family register, the foreign resident’s passport, a residence card, special permanent resident certificate or foreign resident registration card, which is considerred equivalent to these, and a certificate of eligibility for marriage issued by the embassy or consulate office of the foreign resident’s home country. (If the certificate is in a foreign language, then a Japanese translation with the name of the translator must also be attached.) When two foreign residents marry, the procedures are the same.
If a foreign resident living in Japan divorces a Japanese spouse by mutual agreement, they may become legally divorced according to Japanese law. If both parties agree, please submit a completed divorce notification form to the municipal office of either the registered domicile of the Japanese spouse or the city where the person submitting the form has his/her address registered. If both parties are foreign residents, then please inquire with the consulate office of your home country for details concerning the appropriate procedures.
When a child is born, a completed birth notification form with the doctor’s verification in the column provided on the birth certificate must be submitted within 14 days.
Notification Period: Within 14 days, including the day of birth
Where to File a Notification: At the municipal office of birth or residence of the person filing the notification
Who Should File the Notification: The father or the mother of the child
Required Documents: The notification form and the Mother and Child Health Handbook (Boshi Kenko Techo)
*The following procedures must also be completed for a child of foreign nationality remaining in Japan for over sixty days after birth:
If a person dies in Japan, a death notification must be completed.
*Cremation is the most typical form of disposal in Japan. If it is desired for the body to be shipped back to the home country, consult with the relevant embassy or consulate in Japan for the procedure.
Notification Period: Within seven days of learning of the death.
Where to File a Notification: At the municipal office of death or residence of the person filing a notification
Who Should File a Notification: A member of the same family/household or relative
Required Documents: Notification form (the form attached to the death certificate, which is completed by the hospital)
Inquiries: Family Registration Subsection, Civil Affairs Section, Civil Affairs Department (ext. 2333)