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Japanese Civil Documents

For most Japanese, a single document serves as a birth, marriage, divorce and death certificate, in addition to recording the names of one’s children. This document is the Family Register.

Non-Japanese people do not have “Family Registers.” Still, foreigners living in Japan are required to give notification about such matters as births and deaths in Japan in accordance with the Family Register Law. You may also give notification of marriages and divorces if these are conducted in Japan according to Japanese procedures. Contact the Family Register Section of the local ward or municipal office where you currently live.

For more information on Japanese Family Registry, please click here. Visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government website for the list of Tokyo’s ward and city offices.

Follow this link for more information on Obtaining Marriage Certificates from Japan.

Birth Records (shusshou todoke kisaijiko shomeisho)

According to the Tokyo Legal Affairs Bureau (part of the Tokyo City government), all birth records of non-Japanese citizens are maintained by the ward/city office where the reports were filed. There are 23 wards in Tokyo; major urban centers around Tokyo, such as Kawasaki and Yokohama, also have multiple wards/districts.

Birth records (shusshou todoke kisaijiko shomeisho) for foreigners are not maintained permanently. The period may differ from office to office and can be as short as ten years. In general, parents report the birth at a ward/city office where they reside or where the child was born.

Visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government website for contact information for ward and city offices in Tokyo.

To request a shusshou todoke kisaijiko shomeisho, you will need the following items (with Japanese translations as needed):

  • The child’s full name
  • Current address
  • Date of birth
  • Date the birth was reported (if available)
  • Parents names and nationalities
  • Purpose of the request, i.e., how you plan to use the requested document
  • 350 yen per copy and postage
  • A self-addressed, stamped, return envelope.

The Embassy cannot obtain Japanese civil documents on behalf of private citizens, nor can we provide translation services. If you wish for assistance in the filing process, please refer to our lists of translators and local attorneys who can communicate in English.

If your child was born in a U.S. military hospital, they may have a record of his/her birth. Unfortunately, the Embassy does not have access to any of those records.