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 Korean 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.
Before you arrive in Japan, you will need to retrieve some documents from your local ward office in Korea. If you are already in Japan, you can order these documents from Korea and have them delivered to you by your family.
To follow is a list of what you will need to collect:
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. 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.
The Korean Certificate of Relationship, The Basic Certification and the Certificate or Marriage Status will be provided in Korean and must be translated into Japanese. At Okinawa Translator, we provide this service. You can scan or photograph the documents and send them to our email address and we will get to work translating these documents into Japanese for you.
Once the translations are finished, we will complete your marriage application. The marriage application must be completed only after all documents have been translated into Japanese. These translated documents must mirror the information provided in the originals so 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 Korean Embassy or Consulate.
And that’s all. If you have any questions about getting married in Japan for Korean 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.