Every Child

Has Two Parents


How to Find Your Child In Japan


Is your name on the koseki?  If so, have you tried tracing her via her koseki?  One you find either the koseki or the jyuminhyou, you can get the other using a different application form. 

There are private investigators listed on this page.  They may be able to assist you in locating you child in Japan.


If so, there is a new addition to our lawyers list.  Mikiko Oyama who is a Gyoseishoshi Lawyer.  She cannot do all lawyerly things, in particular cannot be a party in lawsuits or other confrontational issues.  But she may be able to help consult on issues such as finding a child.  Her fees seem to be reasonable for Japan, and she speaks English well.  Located in Hyogo Prefecture, near Osaka.

I got the following information in a newsletter.  Other information available here - http://www.najapan.com/TAX_Irish-Net%20Nippon-Japanese-Pension-Refund.htm

On a different note, we mentioned  that the government is starting to wake up to the fact that its pension system really is in crisis. Not only are the number of aged people drawing a pension increasing dramatically, but also a rapidly increasing number of workers are also not paying in to the system. Just how bad the problem is became clear last week when the Social Insurance Agency which manages the collection of pension contributions declared that about 40% of Japanese are not paying their premiums. Indeed, only 47.4% of those in their early 20's are paying -- largely, we suspect, because these people are self-employed "freeters".

The pension system, which is really a tax, although collected by a different agency, requires every resident of Japan to pay part of their earnings as pension contributions. Companies are obligated to pay by penalty of law, but individuals who do not pay are not punishable at this point. We expect that situation to change very quickly. Of course, with over 50% of some age-groups not paying, one could say that we have a case of tax-payer revolt. Since most of these people are also voters, the government will have to tread very carefully in making changes to the law.

In my case, I know that the mother of my child, with custody, was not, at least at one point, paying into this.  I know this because the nennkin person came to my home which was her registered domicile (on jyuuminhyou) at the time, looking for her.  It is likely that she is not paying because she is a part timer as mentioned above.  This makes it harder to find her.  But it also looks like the government may go after her at some point, in which case they will need a valid jyuuminhyou address also.  Im not sure exactly how to use this information right now, but some possibilities I can think of are:

  1. When trying to encourage the local govt office to "find" her and update her jyuuminhyou, remind them of this problem.  The local offices usually do not put much effort into making sure a person has a correct address on file.  This could give them more incentive.

  2. In a court battle, if she is not paying her nenkin, she is technically breaking the law.  Could she go to jail for this in the future?  I suppose so.  It could also be a sign that she can barely take care of herself and the child.  So perhaps it is useful in showing that she is not a good mother.

  3. If she is not paying, it may also be possible to put pressure on her by informing the appropriate agencies of where she is.  In general, Im not sure how I would go about finding out whether she is paying or not.

There are several things that mothers need to do for their children that require registration and help from the local governments.  These things might be useful in tracking someone down.  Or if they are not being done, they might be useful evidence for why she is not a good mother.  It may also be possible to sue the local govt office to get this information, or to get it from the freedom of information act.  (See section on Your Rights for more information on this.)  I once had good luck getting a kuyakusyo to give me information by subtly threatening to sue them for not enforcing a regulation.  But that was a pretty clear case.  Not sure how this would work if there was not a clear regulation, for example, to provide you with the information.  But in general, if the information pertains directly to the welfare of your child, I think it should be possible to get the information.

  1. Health insurance.  Typically the mother gets notifications and bills for the children's health insurance from the local govt agency. (kuyakusyo, siyakusyo, etc.)  If she is not at the currently registered address, she may get the notices by having the mail forwarded by the post office.  I once went into the kuyakusyo of her registered office and asked about whether she there was any unpaid balance on these premiums for her and/or the child.  They researched it and told me.  So this section of the administration might be willing to provide more information if I were to know what to ask for.  At least with a copy of the koseki, you should be able to get this information.

  2. I believe that there is some registration required for the child to attend school, in particular daycare.

  3. I believe there is some registration required for the mother to get single mother benefits.

*** Following was copied from a US centric document, so needs to be rewritten and added to for Japan.

  1. ask the FBI Agent, U.S. Attorney, or local law-enforcement officer who is working the case to check with the Federal/ State Parent Locator Service (FPLS). FPLS can access records from many federal agencies including the Social Security Administration, Department of Treasury, and the Department of Defense.

  2. contact the Motor Vehicle Registration Department for information on the car that your spouse may be driving.  

  3. check with the post office, utility companies, banks, employers, insurance companies, subscription lists, or other places where an address change may be requested by your spouse.  

  4. check past telephone bills for out-of-town numbers that may give a possible destination.  

  5. check credit-card bills that may show out of- town purchases.  

  6. if your spouse is employed in a profession that requires a license by the state or a union, check with the appropriate agency in other states or localities.  

  7. if your child is of school age, check the previous school to determine if another school has made requests for school records. Ask the previous school to f lag the child’s record and notify you if a request for the record is made.  

  8. check with the Department of Vital Statistics in the county where your child was born to put a flag on the birth certificate in an effort to prevent the child’s name from being changed. Also request that you be notified if a copy of the birth certificate is requested by anyone.  

  9. contact parental kidnapping support groups to help you through the process of finding your child.  

  10. have fliers or posters made of your child, using the poster format in this brochure.  

  11. search for your child on your own as well as working with law enforcement.  

For more detailed information on what to do if your child is abducted, write to or call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to order a copy of the book titled Family Abduction. Also request a copy of the book titled A Report to the Nation if you would like information on parental kidnapping laws in your state.


The information on this website concerns a matter of public interest, and is provided for educational and informational purposes only in order to raise public awareness of issues concerning left-behind parents. Unless otherwise indicated, the writers and translators of this website are not lawyers nor professional translators, so be sure to confirm anything important with your own lawyer.

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