How to obtain a copy of your document from Japan

If your official document(s) issued from Japan has been lost or misplaced, Okinawa Translator can assist you with obtaining an official copy of the document(s).

For us to be able to retrieve your document(s) on your behalf, please provide the following details via email:

Information regarding the person who needs the document(s).

City Office of which the document(s) is located (This is the most important information we need).

A photocopy (or a scan) of your passport OR Driver’s License.

We have helped people from all around the world with obtaining reissues of document(s) from Japanese city offices, such as:

Marriage Certificate

Family Register (Koseki Tohon/Shohon)

Birth Certificate

Death Certificate

Divorce Certificate

Company Registration

And so on.

We can also translate the reissued document(s) into whatever language you may need but an English translation will suffice in most cases. Please check with the office you are submitting the document(s) to.

In addition, many customers wish their newly issued document(s) to “be authenticated” or “have an official stamp for official use overseas.” Since Japan is part of the Hague Convention, if the country you are submitting the document(s) to is also part of the Hague Convention, we can assist you with getting an APOSTILLE for such document(s).

Below are some examples cases we have helped people with:

[Case 1]

“My parents were married in Japan back in 1987. They think they got married in Naha City or Chatan Town Office in Okinawa. Is there any way you can help us get their Marriage Certificate?”

▶YES. However, because Japan does not have a central database to quick-search documents or personal information, we need you to specify which city office you registered your personal matters at (the marriage). In this case, we inquired the city offices first, and then inquired the other city office after finding out that the first office did not have the record. The second office had the record and the document was obtained. Because this document was for personal use not official use, it did not have to be apostilled.

[Case 2]

“I was looking for someone to retrieve my document from Japan on my behalf and found your website. I need my children’s Birth Certificates and my Japanese Wife’s Birth Certificate from Japan. Do you still offer this service?”

▶YES. Although Japan has “Birth Certificates,” foreign countries often refer to the Japanese Family Register as birth certificates. Please confirm with the office you are submitting it to to make sure we obtain the correct documents for you.

[Case 3]

“I am getting married in the US very soon. In order to prove my prior divorce in Japan, however, I need my old Divorce Decree. My previous wife and I lived in Fussa City, Tokyo, so I think we filed our divorce there. I am kind of in a hurry. Can you get that document for me, and apostille, translate, and send it to my US address?”

▶With an additional charge, you may choose to have us use express mail instead of regular mail for all the mailing processes. Though we cannot 100% guarantee if that will make the process go faster, from our experience, express mail seems to speed it up by a few days.

If you have any inquiries please contact us anytime:


Phone: (+81) 50-5534-5965

David Higgins is a full time Japanese/English translation company owner located in Okinawa, Japan. David, his wife Hazuki and four employees and various freelancers of other languages run Okinawa Translator. They specialize in translation of all kinds of documents, technical manuals and on site interpreting for instructional safety classes with the military to family reunions. They have expanded their business all over Japan and overseas to serve customers in any location.

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