Hi, I am David Higgins, a legal translator in Okinawa, Japan and I am going to clearly explain how to get married in Japan for those individuals who are Canadian passport holders.
First of all, let’s clarify that getting legally 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.
There is one document you need to retrieve from the Canadian Embassy or Consulate that is located in Japan.
That one document is called the:
To retrieve Affidavit, you will need to be present at the Canadian Embassy or Consulate.
There are six places in Japan where you can retrieve the Affidavit. They are:
- Canadian Embassy in Tokyo or;
- Canadian Consulate in either Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima or Fukuoka.
The Affidavit will be written in English and must be translated into 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 get to work translating the document into Japanese for you.
Once the translation is finished, we will complete your marriage application. The marriage application must be completed only after the Affidavit has been translated into Japanese. The marriage application must mirror the information of the translated document. One of the big advantages of having all documents translated at one time, by the same translator, will be avoiding possible discrepancies that may occur otherwise.
The marriage application must have two witnesses. My wife and I can be your witnesses and due to the fact that we are both Japanese residents, we physically do not have to 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. These individuals must physically accompany you to the city office on the day that you get married.
Once the above mentioned steps are completed, you will submit your documents to a city office closest to your residency 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. We strongly suggest that you consult with our office as to which city office you should provide your documents to. This will ensure that all submission procedures run in a smooth and timely manner.
After you receive your marriage certificate, you will have the option of two different types of marriage certificates. We suggest that you obtain several copies of the small A4 sized Japanese marriage certificate version to keep for your records, as well as the B4 version which is more aesthetically pleasing for you to hang on your wall at home.
The certificates that you receive will be written in the Japanese language. We will also translate your marriage certificate back into English and provide you with several certified copies in English so you can use these to successfully report your marriage to the Canadian Embassy, Consulate, Japanese city office or back in Canada.
And that’s all. If you have any questions about getting married in Japan for Canadian passport holders, 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 present during one of the most important experiences of your life.