Every Child

Has Two Parents

 
 

Overview of the jyuuminhyou Residency Registration System

 

住民票 【じゅうみんひょう】

Alternate spellings: zyuuminhyou, zyuminhyo, jyuminhyo

The jyuminhyou is often confused with the koseki.  The koseki is a family registry that documents relationships and major live events.  It is not the same document as the jyuminhyou.  Follow the links for more information.

The jyuminhyou, Residence Registration, is the system in Japan that keeps track of the current address of all Japanese citizens.  It is maintained by local government offices and used for local tax assessment purposes, as proof of your right to receive certain local services such as welfare and national health insurance, and some ensus purposes. is a registry of current residential addresses. When proof of address is required, as in starting a telephone account or registering for a local school district, one may need to obtain a copy of this record from the local government.

Only Japanese are listed on a jyuuminhyou. Non-Japanese cannot get their own jyuminhyou, and in fact, cannot be officially be listed on one as a resident. So if you are a foreigner married to a Japanese, you are not listed.  Foreign members of a family register their residency individually, under the Alien Registration Law.  When non-Japanese need proof of residence, they can show their foreigner registration card or get a special certificate from the same office who issued the card.  But this does not mention their relationship to other members of their household, including their children or grandchildren.  This is quite a source of controversy among the foreign community in Japan, and is documented in more detail at www.debito.org and here.  It might make it difficult to prove that you actually lived together in Japan.  Some local government offices will put the name of the foreign spouse in the remarks (bikoran) sections.  It is probably worth your time to get a copy with this written in an authorized for your records.  Im not sure if they just write it in by hand or it is stored in a database and printed in an "official" manner.  But if written in by hand, it should be "hanko'd" to prove authenticity.

You can see a real jyuminhyou here or here. (cached copy)

Related Terms

setainushi 世帯主 【せたいぬし】

The representative of the family who is the primary income earner.

jyuumintouroku

This is the process of recording your residency registration.  Whether moving from one house to another or from one prefecture to another, Japanese must notify and register with the appropriate local municipal authorities. Jyuumintouroku refers to the act of registering with local authorities to inform them of one's new address. Jyuuminhyou is the name of the document that local officials issue stating that an individual lives in a certain town at a certain address. This record is not part of a family registry. This document however lists the individual's last residence. Also, when obtaining a copy of a jyuuminhyou, one may request that the honseki-chi be noted on the form. Since jyuuminhyou are generally only requested by the owner or the individual specified on the form, it is doubtful that the public is allowed to obtain copies of others' jyuuminhyou (resident registration). The information contained on this registration however would make tracing a relative's honseki-chi a bit easier, particularly in cases where the family did not maintain their koseki in the town in which they resided.

Juki Net

The computerized system used to track jyuminhyou information since about 2000.


Getting a copy of a jyuminhyou

I have not researched this as thoroughly as the koseki laws, but here is my take on this, from experiences in getting them myself. As with the koseki, your right to look at this comes from your relationship with the owner. The rights not clearly explained in the law, but I believe there is also a prohibition on them unjustly refusing it, if you are a "related" person or a person with a valid reason to know. The details are probably contained in a MOJ regulation somewhere. 

With the koseki, the government official can just look at the koseki itself and see your name on it, and see the name on your ID (foreigner registration or passport) that you bring in. Since they match, they will give you a copy, no problem. But a jyuminhyou is not self-identifying of your relationship as the other parent of the child. So you would have to bring in supporting evidence to show that relationship. A valid koseki (i.e. issued within last 3 months) with both your names on it should do it. If you are not listed on the koseki, I suppose foreign evidence of marriage, childbirth etc could work, but that could take time. Your best bet in this case would be to use the foreign evidence to get yourself, the marriage, the divorce, and/or birth of the child on the koseki. You may need legal help to do this, but its worth it, and should not be that hard. THEN get the koseki and get the jyuuminhyou.

In 2002, the paper-based family register system was discontinued. Juki Net, the computerized registry of Japanese citizens, is now used to track Japanese families. There has been a vocal public discussion of privacy issues surrounding that. This has caused the regulations on who can get copies of this to become more strict.  My guess is that if you were not living at the same address, you would be legally entitled to get your wife or child's jyuminhyou, on the grounds that your child is living with your wife, and so you have a right to know where he is living and with whom. (Technically, you may only have the right to get your child's jyuminhyou, which happens to have your wife's and other occupants of the same location on it also. I am not sure what happens if she registers the child at a location she is not living at, but she is on a different one.  I cant think of why a divorcee with no children would need it, so you would have to present a valid reason, Im sure. (Unlike for the koseki.)

See this section on how to find the location of the Japanese local government office where you must go or send mail to, to request a koseki.  You can get a copy of the form to do this and further information on how to do this on our Japanese Family Law Related Forms section.

Jyuminhyou can be notoriously out of date, especially by people who want to avoid being found. They just dont update it when they move and the forward mail by post office. Or perhaps they just register on someone else's jyuminhyou.  So a spouse trying to hide may be at their parent's address and register there.  If so, you should try to get a copy of this jyuminhyou also, on the grounds that you want to know who your child is living with. It will have a section on it telling where the honseki (address of the koseki) of the head of the household, i.e. your spouse's father or mother, is. If your spouse were ever to try to run and hide, I speculate that knowing this could be useful in trying to trace relatives s/he is staying, since it may be a relative.

Laws

"a notification passed by Jichisho (Ministry of Home Affairs) in 1967, gave non-Japanese household heads a right to be listed in the bikouran (remarks column) of his/her spouse's
juminhyo."  But...unless that remarks column is specifically requested, in will not appear.  Apparently because the "remarks column" sometimes contains the "remark" that so-and-so is a "new" Japanese.

Articles

What no-on ever told you about a jyuminhyou - If you read Japanese, an interesting reference with unusual information.

UMJ story with additional information on Jyuminhyou

Living Off the Record ; Japan Times; January 20, 2002.  (cached copy)

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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