Every Child

Has Two Parents


Common and Not So Common Legal Forms Used In Japan


The forms here are for dual purposes. First, you may need them to get information from Japan.  For example, if you want to request a copy of your child's parent's koseki by mail.  Second, they are for your information, so that you know what they look like.  This way, if your spouse is asking you to sign something in Japanese, but you do not read Japanese, you can compare the form to ones here and see, for example, if it is the standard divorce form. We strongly recommend that you get a Japanese friend to help you fill the form in if your Japanese is not good.  (We will be providing "example" forms and instructions at a later date so that you can do this yourself more easily.)

Disclaimer: No lawyers have been involved in creating this page.  We have put up what we believe are the correct forms and instructions on using them.  But sometimes forms vary between cities, ku's, or prefectures.  Also, there may be other forms that we do not have here that could accomplish the same thing.  For example, there are several kinds of divorce, but we will likely only have the form for a Divorce By Mutual Consent. And even then, there may be other forms or other ways to accomplish the same thing.  Consult a lawyer if you have any questions.  People at local government offices are also usually willing to help understand their forms.

Typically these should be mailed (or of course brought in person) to the ward office or other local government office where the relevant koseki is.  That is, the "hon-seki."  In some cases, such as requesting a jyuuminhyou, it is not clear whether you can request this from the location of the hon-seki or you must already know where they are living.  (This needs more investigation.)  You can probably xerox the form (even with some of the details already filled in), but we recommend that you make sure that at least your signature and hanko stamp were original.   We have a page describing what a koseki is and there are some notes on how you might get a copy.

We suggest that you mail the form in a trackable manner, such as Federal Express or US Postal Service return receipt registered mail.  This will give you proof that it was delivered to the ward office should you ever need it.  You should also request most of these every 6 months, as changes to a koseki can often only be contested for 6 months after they are made.


Typically, you can provide a signature when it asks for a hanko.  If you do have a hanko or if you are living in Japan, you should use your registered hanko.  See our Hanko page for information on using registered hanko's, or seals, in Japan.

Submitting Fees With Forms

Typically, if you are requesting a document, there is a fee.  If you are submitting a document, there does not seem to be.  The explanation page for each form will show what at least one government office has requested as a fee, but there is no guarantee that every office has the same fee.  The best thing to do is to call and ask.  Otherwise, be sure to allow extra time so that you can re-mail your request with the proper amount if it is returned the first time.

When submitting money, the best way and sometimes the required way (depending on the office and the person you talk to) is to use postal money orders.  These are called teigaku kogawase (定額小為替) and can be purchased at any post office in Japan.  They come in fixed amounts, such as 50, 100, 300, 400, etc yen each. They are three part forms.  You tear off one part, and send the other parts to the person you are paying.  If you can't get these, then you could try sending cash.  One person has reported luck sending coins and another has been told by an employee of a local government office that your aren't supposed to, but since you are sending it from overseas, it would probably be ok.

Stamped Self Addressed Envelopes

You must include a self addressed envelope with Japanese postage on it.  Best to add extra since you don't know exactly how heavy the documents you have requested are.  Make sure an A4 sized document will fit.  (A4 is longer and thinner than US letter size paper.)

<TBD. More info on Japanese postage. Rates and how to get it.>

Available Forms

Note: You may need the Japanese fonts for Adobe Acrobat to view these. If you do not have them, try the PDF (with image) version if it is available.  In case you need it, here is a link to download Acrobat Reader.

1) Prevent divorce不受理申出


[huzyurimouside]This form is used to prevent a local government office from accepting a Divorce By Mutual Consent form from your Japanese spouse.  This form only remains valid for 6 months.  You must submit it again continue this protection.  So you should probably submit it every 5 months in order to have some overlap to protect against delays.

2) Prevent adoption不受理申出


[huzyurimouside]You can prevent your child from being adopted for up to 6 months.

***UPDATE: This may not be possible. More info later.

The form is the same as the prevent divorce form, but you fill it in differently.

3) Divorce By Mutual Consent離婚届


[kyougirkon todoke]Commonly called "The Green Form" because of the green band across the top.  This is only one kind of divorce, but the one that can most easily be forged.

  1. 4) ?? Cancel anti-divorce or anti-adoption form

TO BE ADDEDThere is a form for this, so best to know what it looks like so you don't accidentally sign one.  Also, you might need it.

  1. 5) Request for Family Registration

TO BE ADDEDIf you need it now, see the "Others" page below.

We also have a page describing what a koseki is and there are some notes on how you might get a copy.

6) Certification of Absence of a koseki不在席証明書


[huzaiseki syoumeisyo]Relatively little known form allowing you to verify that that a person's koseki is NOT at a specific honseki.  Can be used to verify that it has moved, or be used in a trial and error scenario if you have a good guess at the honseki.  But you should be in Japan to try this as the roundtrip time for mail would make it less practical.

7)  Request for Residency RegistrationTO BE ADDEDIf you need it now, see the "Others" page below.  We also have a page describing what a jyuminhyou is and there are some notes on how you might get a copy.

For local Registration. (in this Hokkaido district ??)

For Registration from another place.

  1. 8) Form to register a personal seal (hanko)

TO BE ADDEDMight need to be in Japan to submit this.  Not sure if they would even check for a foreigner anyways.  But its worth a try to register this and make it harder to forge a document from you.

  1. 9) OthersVarious

Here is a list of forms that was originally found at http://www2.ohotuku26.or.jp/kitami/090-10/090-10.htm.  It is in Japanese, but seems to be just about any kind of form you could ever want.  If you find one to be useful, please let us know, and we will try to break it out and provide an English translation in the section.  Be sure to check the original source for more up to date forms.

  1. 10) Family Court FormsVarious

Here is a site with lots of explanation of the various types of actions you can take, examples of forms, and many of the forms themselves.  For example, there is an explanation and form for requesting visitation.  The bad news is that its all in Japanese.  http://courtdomino2.courts.go.jp/T_kaji.nsf

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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