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Akasaka Azabu

can foreigners get married in japan
  • Date Published: April 29, 2024

In Japan, a marriage becomes official only when registered at a local government administrative office. Regardless of any ceremonies conducted by religious or fraternal organizations, they do not hold legal validity for marriage in Japan. Foreigners intending to marry in Japan must satisfy the conditions laid down by the Japanese Civil Code, which include the necessity of both parties being at least 18 years of age. Of significance is the fact that foreigners who plan to marry in Japan must secure a Certificate of Competency to Marry from their home country’s embassy or consulate situated in Japan.

Key Takeaways:

  • Marriage in Japan is recognized through registration at a municipal government office.
  • Ceremonies performed by religious or fraternal bodies are not considered legal marriages.
  • Foreigners must meet the requirements set by the Japanese Civil Code to get married in Japan.
  • Obtaining a Certificate of Competency to Marry is necessary for foreigners wishing to marry in Japan.
  • Consult the appropriate embassy or consulate for detailed information on marriage requirements.

Who Can Get Married in Japan?

Marriage in Japan is governed by the Japanese Civil Code. To legally marry in Japan, there are certain requirements that must be met:

  1. Both partners must be 18 years old or older.
  2. Individuals who are related by blood, adoption, or previous marriages are not allowed to marry.

Furthermore, foreigners who wish to marry in Japan must ensure that they are legally eligible to marry in their home country. It is essential to consult with a Japanese municipal government office to understand the specific requirements and documentation needed for an international marriage in Japan.

Legal Age for Marriage in Japan

The legal age for marriage in Japan is 18 years old. It is important to note that individuals under this age are not permitted to marry, even with parental consent.

Prohibited Marriages in Japan

In Japan, individuals who are closely related by blood (such as siblings or parents and children) or by adoption are not allowed to marry. Additionally, individuals who are already married cannot enter into another marriage.

“Marriages are legally recognized in Japan if they meet the requirements set by the Japanese Civil Code. It is essential to abide by these legalities to ensure a valid and recognized marriage in Japan.”

Marriage Process for Foreigners in Japan

Foreigners who wish to get married in Japan need to follow a specific process to ensure their marriage is legally recognized. Here are the key steps involved:

Step 1: Sworn Affidavit of Competency to Marry

The first step is to prepare a sworn Affidavit of Competency to Marry from your home country’s embassy or consulate in Japan. This document confirms that you are legally eligible to get married. The affidavit should be completed in English and may require a Japanese translation.

Step 2: Validity of the Affidavit

Once the affidavit is completed and notarized, it is valid for three months. It’s important to note that the affidavit forms are specific to Japanese law and not a requirement of the U.S. government. Therefore, it’s crucial to follow the guidelines provided by the Japanese authorities.

Step 3: Kon-in Todoke – Request for Marriage Registration

After obtaining the Affidavit of Competency to Marry, you need to fill out a Kon-in Todoke, which is a request for marriage registration. This form requires the signatures of two witnesses who are over 18 years old. The Kon-in Todoke is an essential document for the marriage registration process.

Step 4: Submitting the Documents

Once you have completed the necessary paperwork, you must visit the municipal government office in Japan to submit the Kon-in Todoke for marriage registration. Each municipality may have specific procedures and additional requirements, so it’s essential to confirm the details with the local government officials.

Step 5: Obtaining the Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Marriage

Once the marriage procedures are completed, you can request a Japanese-language “Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Marriage” from the municipal government office. This certificate serves as proof of your marriage in Japan.

In conclusion, the marriage process for foreigners in Japan involves obtaining the Affidavit of Competency to Marry, submitting the necessary documentation, and obtaining the Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Marriage. By following these steps, you can ensure that your marriage is legally recognized in Japan.

Registering the Marriage

After completing the necessary paperwork, the couple must proceed to the appropriate municipal government office in Japan to submit the Kon-in Todoke for marriage registration. It is essential to confirm the local marriage procedures and any additional requirements with the municipal government officials to ensure a smooth process.

Depending on the jurisdiction, additional documents may be required. For example, a certified copy of the birth certificate and its Japanese translation might be necessary. It is crucial to gather all the required documents beforehand to avoid any delays or complications.

Once the marriage procedures are completed, the couple can request a Japanese-language “Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Marriage” from the municipal government office. This certificate serves as official proof of marriage in Japan.

Documents Required for Marriage Registration Additional Requirements
Completed Kon-in Todoke
Sworn Affidavit of Competency to Marry Depends on the jurisdiction
Proof of Identity (Passport, Residence Card, etc.) Depends on the jurisdiction
Certified copy of birth certificate and its Japanese translation Depends on the jurisdiction

It’s important to note that the marriage registration process and required documents may vary depending on the specific municipal government office in Japan. Consulting with the officials and preparing all the necessary paperwork in advance will ensure a smooth and successful registration.

Engaging with the Municipal Government Office

When visiting the municipal government office for marriage registration, it is advisable to have a clear understanding of the local procedures and guidelines. Communication with the officials will help ensure that all necessary documents are submitted correctly and that any additional requirements are properly fulfilled.

The municipal government office will guide the couple through the registration process, verify the submitted documents, and issue the official “Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Marriage” upon completion. This certificate serves as legal proof of marriage in Japan and may be required for various administrative and legal purposes.

Completing the marriage registration at the municipal government office is a vital step in the process of getting married in Japan as a foreigner. It ensures that the marriage is legally recognized and provides both partners with the necessary documentation to proceed with their married life in Japan.

Marriage Certificates and Translations

When getting married in Japan as a foreigner, it’s important to understand the legalities and documentation requirements involved. While the U.S. government does not issue marriage certificates for marriages performed overseas, the Japanese marriage document serves as the only proof of marriage. It is crucial to obtain a notarized translation of the Japanese marriage document for use in the United States.

The U.S. embassy in Japan provides fill-in-the-blanks templates that can be used for translating the Japanese marriage document. This notarized translation, however, does not serve as a marriage certificate issued by the U.S. government. It is essential to note that marriages legally performed and valid abroad are also legally valid in the United States. Therefore, there is no need to report the marriage to the U.S. embassy or consulate.

By obtaining a notarized translation of the Japanese marriage document, couples can ensure that their marriage is recognized and acknowledged in the United States. This can be particularly helpful when dealing with legal matters or obtaining benefits that may require proof of marriage.

Reporting the Marriage to Your Home Country

After successfully completing the marriage registration process in Japan, it may be necessary to report the marriage to your home country’s embassy or consulate. The requirements and procedures for reporting the marriage differ depending on the country of citizenship.

British citizens, for example, do not need to report their marriage to the British Embassy. However, citizens of the Philippines are required to submit various documents within 30 days of the marriage registration. To ensure compliance, it is essential to check with the embassy or consulate of your home country for specific requirements and procedures.

Reporting the marriage to your home country is an important step to ensure that the marriage is recognized and documented appropriately in your home country. It may involve submitting relevant documents, such as the Japanese marriage certificate, to the embassy or consulate. Consulting with the appropriate authorities will provide clarity on the necessary steps and help ensure a smooth process.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding reporting your marriage to your home country, it is recommended to seek guidance from the embassy or consulate. They will provide accurate and up-to-date information based on the requirements of your home country.

Costs and Timeframe

Registering a marriage in Japan is free of charge. The process of legalizing a marriage at the municipal office can typically be completed in under an hour, assuming all the necessary documents are in order. However, it’s important to note that the processing time may vary depending on the municipality and the specific circumstances of the couple.

Once the couple has completed the necessary paperwork and gathered all the required documents, they can proceed to the municipal government office to submit their Kon-in Todoke for marriage registration. The office will then verify the documents and process the registration. It’s recommended to call ahead and confirm the specific requirements and procedures of the local government office to make the process more efficient.

The time it takes for the marriage registration to be completed may depend on factors such as the workload of the office, the accuracy of the submitted documents, and any additional requirements specific to the municipality. Some couples may walk out with their marriage certificate on the same day, while for others, it may take a few days or even weeks to receive the certificate. If time is limited or there are specific circumstances, it’s advisable to inquire about any expedited services that may be available.

Overall, while the process of registering a marriage in Japan is generally straightforward and efficient, it’s essential for couples to plan accordingly and allow for any potential variations in processing time.

Conclusion

Getting married in Japan as a foreigner is completely possible, as long as you meet the legal requirements outlined by the Japanese Civil Code. It involves obtaining a Certificate of Competency to Marry and registering the marriage at a municipal government office. By carefully preparing and consulting with the appropriate authorities, you can navigate the process successfully.

Remember, it’s crucial to understand and adhere to the specific requirements and documentation needed for marriage in Japan. Consulting with the municipal government office and your country’s embassy or consulate will provide detailed information and guidance throughout the process.

If you’re a foreigner dreaming of getting married to a Japanese citizen, don’t worry! With proper planning and assistance, you can have a beautiful wedding in Japan and start your married life in this wonderful country.

FAQ

Can foreigners get married in Japan?

Yes, foreigners can get married in Japan. However, they must meet the requirements set by the Japanese Civil Code.

What are the marriage laws for foreigners in Japan?

The marriage laws for foreigners in Japan require both partners to be 18 years old or older and not be related by blood, adoption, or previous marriages.

What are the wedding requirements for non-Japanese in Japan?

Non-Japanese individuals who wish to get married in Japan must obtain a Certificate of Competency to Marry from their country’s embassy or consulate in Japan.

What are the legalities of marrying a foreigner in Japan?

The legalities of marrying a foreigner in Japan include meeting the requirements of the Japanese Civil Code and obtaining a Certificate of Competency to Marry.

What documentation is required for an international marriage in Japan?

Documentation required for an international marriage in Japan includes the Certificate of Competency to Marry and a sworn Affidavit of Competency to Marry from the home country’s embassy or consulate in Japan.

What is the process for foreigners to get married in Japan?

The process for foreigners to get married in Japan involves preparing the necessary paperwork, including the Kon-in Todoke (request for marriage registration), and submitting it to the appropriate municipal government office in Japan.

What are the marriage laws for foreigners in Japan?

Foreigners marrying in Japan must register their marriage at a municipal government office in order for it to be legally recognized.

How can I obtain a Japanese marriage certificate and its translation?

After completing the marriage registration process, the couple can request a Japanese-language “Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Marriage” from the municipal government office. To obtain a notarized translation, fill-in-the-blanks templates provided by the U.S. embassy in Japan can be used.

Do I need to report my marriage to the U.S. embassy or consulate?

No, marriages legally performed and valid abroad, including in Japan, are also legally valid in the United States, and there is no need to report the marriage to the U.S. embassy or consulate.

What is the process for reporting the marriage to my home country’s embassy or consulate in Japan?

The process for reporting a marriage to the home country’s embassy or consulate in Japan may differ depending on the country. It is important to check with the embassy or consulate of your home country for specific requirements and procedures.

How much does it cost to register a marriage in Japan, and how long does it take?

Registering a marriage in Japan is free of charge, and the timeframe for legalization at the municipal office can typically be completed in under an hour, assuming all the necessary documents are in order.

Can foreigners marry Japanese citizens in Japan?

Yes, foreigners can marry Japanese citizens in Japan. However, they must meet the requirements set by the Japanese Civil Code and obtain the necessary documentation.

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