US passport holders, married in Japan, and reports of marriage that were submitted to the US Consulate or Embassy in Japan before November 9th, 1989 the record of your Certificate of Witness of Marriage Abroad is not on file at the Japanese City or Ward Offices in Japan.

The Certificate of Witness to Marriage Abroad is actually on file at the US Department of State in Washington. You can obtain the document yourself by following the procedures in this link here:

If you were married after this period of time Okinawa Translator can assist you in obtaining a issue of your marriage certificate anywhere in Japan.

In order to assist you in obtaining a reissue we need to the following data/documents  to process your request:

  • Both parties names
  • Both parties birthdates
  • Both parties nationalities
  • City Office where you were married
  • Marriage date
  • Reason for a reissue
  • Copy of your passport or driver’s license
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number

Once we have the information/documents we can obtain a the reissue of your marriage certificate.

In addition, if you want us to obtain a document other than your marriage certificate, such as:

  • birth certificate;
  • family registry;
  • divorce decree;
  • death certificate;
  • name change document;
  • any other city office issued document, we can help you obtain any of these documents as well.

After we have obtained the document, depending on the case, it may or may not need to be officially translated, Apostille’d or notarized. Okinawa Translator can assist you in all of these services upon request.

Please contact us if you have any further questions about our services.

Email us:

What do the symbols and designs around the border signify?

Among many Chinese traditions that have been introduced to Japan, it is said that “the origin of certificates” was introduced by China. The symbol of “Chinese Phoenixes” were used on ornamental frames for official letters and honorable mentions for personnel announcement documents and medals issued within the Emperor’s palace. The symbol of “paulownia trees” were used on religious documents used at official events held within the palace of the Japanese emperor. It seems that the design of the modern-day certificate paper came from combining these two symbols. The modern-day certificates were used only for some of the official events held within the Japanese palace. They became the official paper used for formal events after Meiji era, and have gradually started to be used by the general public.

There are 3 components that structure the design of the periphery of the certificate paper (frame).

(1) A “Dragon Cloud” in cloud form that is placed in the upper middle part

Dragon Cloud

(2) A pair of “Chinese Phoenixes” that is placed on both sides of the Dragon Cloud

Chinese Phenixes

(3) “Paulownia Trees” that extends from the bottom all the way up to the Chinese Phoenixes on both sides

Paulownia Trees

Why the Chinese Phoenixes?

“Chinese Phoenix,” an auspicious imaginary bird that were believed to appear as a sign of imperial virtue, is one of the Four Beginnings (dragon, tortoise, qilin, phoenix) that were believed to be extremely sacred and congratulatory, and were used in imperial events in ancient times to modern-day China. It is said that the conjugal relationship of a pair of Chinese Phoenixes is very well and they will accompany each other for their lifetime. The male is called “Hou (鳳)” and female “ou (凰),” and the two are combined to form the word “Phoenix (鳳凰).” On the certificate paper, the female is placed on the left side and the male is placed on the right side, and are facing each other.

Chinese Phoenix

Why A Dragon Cloud?

The term “Dragon-Cloud” is originally used to describe a set of clouds and a dragon, but could also indicate the lucky cloud that brings rain along with the dragon that is one of the Four Beginnings like Phoenixes.

Why Paulownia Trees?

“Paulownia Trees” have been thought to be “auspicious trees that the phoenixes dwell” since ancient times in their country of origin, China. It is also told that “phoenixes wake up to the light reflection off the leaves of paulownia trees that bathed in sunlight.” Because of their white-colored tree trunks and having little warp from elasticity and cracking, as well as having low moisture absorption ability, they were introduced to Japan as a sacred and auspicious plant. It became the crest of the Imperial Household along with chrysanthemum, and started to be used on religious documents (written covenant to the gods).

Paulownia Trees

Hi, I’m David Higgins and I’m a legal translator in Japan. Okinawa Translator has been operational since 2012 and we specialize our translation and interpreting skills on legal marriages anywhere in Japan. We are a home-based business with my wife and one employee working full time on translating/interpreting many languages into Japanese.

Our main website is:

For any couple wishing to get legally married in Kyoto please contact us directly so we can obtain the necessary details for the documents required for the city office. If you have any questions about the marriage procedure in Kyoto please reach out to us directly at this email  

Here is an overview of how to get married in Kyoto.

Every foreign nationality wishing to marry in Japan must obtain documents specifically requested by the city office. Once the documents are obtained they must be translated into Japanese and then we complete your marriage application. The city office requires two witnesses, my wife and I will fulfill this necessary requirement. As my wife and I are Japanese residents we do not have to be physically present on the day of your marriage.

In Kyoto, every Ward Office will have variations of requirements and timelines for issuing the marriage certificate. We will contact the Ward Office and get the specific requirements for your nationality to get married at that Kyoto Office. In addition, we will confirm the timeline of the issuance of the marriage certificate.

In most cases the smaller sized marriage certificate type will be issued the same day or the next day but the larger more elegant version has a turnaround time of one to ten days. In the case that you cannot be there to pick up the marriage certificate we will assist you by obtaining the marriage certificate on your behalf and mailing it to you.

If you have any questions regarding getting married in Kyoto or any other location in Japan please contact us and we would be happy to answer all of your questions.

Hi, I’m David Higgins, a legal translator in Okinawa, Japan and I am going to explain how to get married in Japan for people who are Malaysian Passport Holders.

Getting married in Japan requires legal paper work only. Any celebration, party or ceremony is completely separate and not necessary for a marriage to be considered legal in Japan.

Malaysian passports holders need the following documents to apply for a marriage license to get married in Japan:

  • A Valid Malaysian Passport
  • A Statutory Declaration issued from Malaysia.

The Statutory Document must be issued from Malaysia within 3 months if it is to be used in Japan. You can find out on how to apply for this Statutory Document using the link below:

Applying for your Statutory Declaration of Single Status:

The Statutory Declaration must be brought to the Malaysia Embassy in Tokyo and they will issue a letter of Non Impediment for marriage.

This document needs to be translated into Japanese. You can do that by sending us a scan or photo of the Malaysia Embassy issued Non Impediment for marriage and we will translate it into Japanese. This document will be brought to the city office and completes the necessary documents for Malaysian Passport Holders to obtain to get married in Japan.

If you plan to marry a US citizen, your fiancé must obtain the following:

  • A single affidavit notarized at either a US legal services office, US Embassy or US Consulate.

A passport, birth certificate or naturalization document is required. In most cases the passport does not need to be translated into Japanese but the birth certificate or naturalization document would need to be translated from English to Japanese.

At Okinawa Translator, we provide that service. You can scan or photograph the documents and send them to our email address and we will translate the documents into Japanese on your behalf.

Once the translations are finished, we will complete your marriage application. The marriage application can only be completed only after all documents have been translated into Japanese. These translated documents must mirror the information provided in the originals. The advantages of having all the documents translated at one time by the same translator will be to avoid possible discrepancies that may occur otherwise thereby creating delays in processing.

The marriage application must have two witnesses. My wife Hazuki and I can be your witnesses and as we are both Japanese residents, we do not have to physically accompany you to the city office. If you want to choose your own witnesses, you will need to submit their full names, birth dates, nationalities and local addresses to us. They must physically accompany you to the city office on the day that you get married.

When the above mentioned steps are completed, you will submit your documents to a city office closest to your residence in Japan. If you submit your documents to a town or village office, they may or may not require additional documentation to be translated and submitted. As a result, we strongly suggest that you consult with our office for the appropriate city office for submitting your documents. This will ensure that all submission procedures run in a smooth and timely manner.

The certificates that you receive will be written in the Japanese language. We will translate your marriage certificate into English and provide you with several certified copies in English so you can use these to successfully report your marriage to the authorities in your home country.

If you have any questions about getting married in Japan, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are experts at this process and can alleviate the unnecessary stresses that obtaining multiple language documents can occur during one of the most important experiences in your life. – Dave ( )

Portuguese Embassy authenticated Japanese Marriage Certificate legalized by the Portuguese Embassy and Consulate in Japan.

At Okinawa Translator we assist customers with authenticating their documents at the Portuguese Embassy and Consulates in Japan.

We can also reissue that official document prior to having it authenticated by the Portugal Embassy or Consulate in Japan.

In addition, we offer the service of having the entire process expedited so that everything can be completed as soon as possible,

If you have any questions regarding our authentication and legalization services that we provide, please shoot me an email with any inquiries:

-Dave, Okinawa Translation and Interpreter Services Office

Okinawa Translator provides translation and interpreting services on Okinawa we specialize in legal marriage, translation of legal documents and procedures along with many other services all displayed on our website:

Hazuki and I would like to thank all the people writing positive reviews for our business and for everyone using our services over the years, it means a lot to us. We appreciate it all and are very thankful! 🙏
>>>>>> <<<<<<

Okinawa Translator offers translation services for Nepali Passport Holders living in Japan. We specialize in:

  • Helping Nepali clients get married at the Japanese City Office

  • Translation of legal documents

Do I have to be located in Okinawa?

No, we offer our services to clients located anywhere in Japan.

How do I use your services?

If you are located in Okinawa:   Come and visit us at our office Google map to our office

If you are located outside of Okinawa:  Send documents by email.

What are the legal requirements for Nepali Citizens?

For Nepali Passport Holders wanting to marry in Japan you can view our blog and watch our YouTube video. This will provide an understanding of the marriage legal requirements for Nepali citizens.

How much do you charge?

Our translation fees are 5000YEN for the first A4 document and 4000YEN for every additional A4 document after that.  If our services are used in the future, the fee is 4000YEN.

When do I have to pay?

Payment must be made up front before we begin the work.  You can do this in four ways:

  1. In person at our office

  2. Over the phone with credit card ( cel: 080-2696-4960)

  3. I can send you a credit card invoice or a PayPal invoice

  4. You can use a Japanese Bank Transfer

How long does it take?

We translate documents in 1-2 days and charge an additional 1000YEN per document for a same day turnaround RUSH fee.


If you have any questions about our services please feel free to contact us at:

Okinawa Translator can assist with a legal marriage at any city office that allows two foreign nationals to marry. Our service extends to customers located in various  villages, towns or cities across  Japan.

If you plan to marry anywhere in Japan, Okinawa Translator will contact the specific city office and confirm the requirements for your nationality, as well as additional requirements specific to a particular area or city office.  Please contact us and include:

  • The details of you and your partner’s nationalities.

  • Divorce history (if any)

  • Desired marriage date

Because the turnaround time for the city office to issue your large B4-sized marriage certificate can vary between same day to up to 1 week, you have 2 options for the decision regarding how long your stay in Japan should be:

  1. You can plan a longer stay in Japan

  2. You can have Okinawa Translator receive the marriage certificate when it is ready.

Marriage in Japan is legally recognized across the world in all countries. We will translate your original Japanese marriage certificate into English or in the language of your home country.

If your home country is part of the Hague convention, you may be required to obtain an Apostille for your Japanese Marriage Certificate.  If so, Okinawa Translator can also provide the Apostille Stamp Services at our office.

In addition to the Japanese Marriage Certificate issued by the city office, our company has a variety of English Marriage Certificates in various Japanese themes. All certificates include a high quality frame. You can view the options here.

If you would like to begin your plans to get married in Japan, please contact us by email and provide us with the details.

Regardless of your nationality or passport, to get legally married in Japan you need to have a Konin Todoke Form/ Japanese Marriage Application completed.

A Japanese Marriage Application Form from the city office looks like this

At the Okinawa Translator Office we have created our own themed version and we believe it is more festive for getting married:

The Japanese Marriage Application form must be completed in Japanese and our office can complete this for you after we have translated your documents into Japanese.

The marriage application must have two witnesses. My wife and I can be your witnesses and as we are Japanese residents we  don’t have to come with you to the city office. If you want your own witnesses  I will need their full names, birth dates, nationality and local address. They will accompany you at the city office on the day you get married.

If your spouse or partner is Japanese they can complete the marriage application form. Here is an instructional PDF written in Japanese to help your Japanese spouse complete the marriage application.


If you have any questions about the marriage process in Japan please contact us.

David Vincent Higgins


Office Phone: 050-5534-5965


Hi, I’m David Higgins, and I am a legal translator in Japan. I am going to explain our authentication and legalization services for the Taiwan Consulate, Embassy and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Japan.

Okinawa Translator offers the service of authenticating your legal or personal documents at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Japan on your behalf.

The documents sourced in Japan, intended for use and submission to the authorities in Taiwan, or at Taiwan Consulate, Embassy or Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the world must undergo an authentification and legalization process prior to be reported.

The examples of documents types that can be promptly authenticated using our services are a public school diploma, a family court issued divorce decree, a police certificate, a family registry, birth certificate or marriage certificate.

These documents must have a three month issue date to be eligible to have this service completed. If the document is expired and out of the 3 month validity period you can have us reissue the document on your behalf.

The examples of document issued not from a Japanese government agency such as a statutory declaration, affidavit, power of attorney or contractual agreement requires an additional step.

These documents must first be taken to be notarised by a Japanese notary before being sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In some instances the original document is in English. If this is the case the document must be translated into Japanese before it can be taken to the Japanese Notary. Next it will go to the Ministry of Foreign Affiairs and then off to the Taiwan Consulate to be authenticated.

Once we receive your document from the Taiwan Consulate in Japan we can EMS courier your legalized document back to your location.

If you have any questions about our authentication and legalization procedures at the Taiwan Consulate in Japan please contact us or get started by emailing: