Attesting Japanese Documents (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions about Japanese Apostille services

Can Japanese documents be legalized by Apostille?

Yes - Japan is a member of the Apostille Convention.

Japanese documents can be legalized for use abroad with an Apostille Stamp when destined for other signatory countries without additional certification by the destination country.

When Japanese documents are required for non-apostille countries, such as AE United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates - TW TaiwanTaiwan - MY MalaysiaMalaysia - TH ThailandThailand - ZM ZambiaZambia - QA QatarQatar they need additional authentication by the embassy of the destination country.

For further information see:
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What types of documents can be legalized in Japan for use abroad?

Japanese Apostille from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be obtained for official documents issued in Japan including Koseki Family Register Certificates, birth death and marriage certificates, Police Certificates, Certified Copies of the Commercial Register, Japanese University diplomas and high school certificates, certificates issued by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (e.g. Certificates of Origin), and documents certified by a Japanese notary, including powers of attorney.

Documents must be no more than 3 months old. Except for documents which are issued one time only (e.g. university diplomas), documents with an issue date older than 3 months cannot be authenticated, and new copies must be obtained from the issuing authority in Japan to obtain an Apostille.

The date of issue must be shown on the document, as well as the name of issuing agency (name and title of the issuer), and the official seal (not a private seal or signature).

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How can I obtain an apostille for a Japanese birth, death or marriage certificate?

Japanese birth, death and marriage certificates can be authenticated with an Apostille stamp from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An original certificate is required, issued by the Municipal Office or Legal Affairs Bureau within the last 3 months.

For further information, see:
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How can I obtain my Japanese Criminal Record Certificate to use abroad?

Criminal Record Certificates can be obtained in Japan from the Prefectural Police covering your areas of current residence (or last registered residence in Japan if currently residing overseas). Outside Japan, certificates can only be obtained from Japanese Embassies and ConsulatesExternal link (opens in new tab)

In both cases, applications must be submitted in person by the applicant (fingerprints are required). Proof must be provided showing that a Japanese criminal record certificate is required by a foreign embassy or immigration authority. Note that applications submitted abroad through Japanese embassies can take 2 months to process.

To obtain an Apostille stamp, the certificate must be submitted unopened to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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How long does it take to obtain an apostille on a document in Japan?

Japanese Apostilles from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are normally obtained in 3 business days

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I need an apostille for my Japanese criminal record certificate - do I need to provide an original certificate?

The original unopened certificate is required by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to obtain an Apostille Stamp.

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How can I obtain an apostille for my Japanese University Degree and Transcripts?

Apostilles on Japanese university diplomas are obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Diplomas require prior notarization in Japan when issued by the following institutions:

  • National and public universities which have been incorporated (except diplomas issued before the date of incorporation).
  • Private universities
  • Colleges of Technology
  • Private vocational schools
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How can I obtain a Japanese Apostille on a medical certificate or doctor's letter?

Japanese Medical Certificates can be authenticated with an Apostille Stamp from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when issued by a public hospital or Red Cross hospital. The certificate must include the hospital’s official seal and date of issue, as well as the name of the hospital and doctor. Certificates from other hospital need to be notarized before an Apostille can be obtained.

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Where can I see reviews of Isarey's Japanese Attestation and Apostille Services?

You can see reviews from past clients who have used our attestation and apostille services:

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How can I obtain a copy of a Japanese birth, marriage or death certificate?

Japanese birth, death and marriage certificates, as well as Family Registry (Koseki) Certificates can be obtained from the Municipal Office where the event was notified or Legal Affairs Bureau.

Consular certificates are also available from Japanese Embassies and ConsulatesExternal link (opens in new tab) in English, but cannot be authenticated with a Japanese Apostille Stamp.

Isarey can obtain certificates directly in Japan for overseas clients requiring Apostille Stamps or Legalization. Please contact us for assistance.

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How can I legalize a Japanese degree certificate for submission to the United Arab Emirates?

Japanese university degrees required for submission to the authorities of the United Arab Emirates must be legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then attested by the UAE embassy in Tokyo. Diplomas issued by incorporated public universities and private universities will need to notarized before they can be legalized.

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How can I legalize a Japanese degree certificate for submission to Saudi Arabia?

Japanese university degrees required for submission to the authorities of Saudi Arabia can be legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with an Apostille Stamp. Since Saudi Arabia joined the Apostille Convention, attestation by the Saudi Embassy in Tokyo is no longer required.

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How can I obtain an Apostille on a Japanese criminal record certificate?

Japanese Criminal Record Certificates can be authenticated with an Apostille Stamp from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Certificates must be no more than 3 months old and must be submitted unopened.

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How can I obtain an Apostille on a Japanese Koseki (family registry certificate)?

Family Registry Certificates (Koseki) are only issued to Japanese citizens. They can be obtained from the municipality responsible for your registered domicile (honseki). Family Registry Certificates do not have a fixed validity, but must have been issued within the last 3 months if an Apostille Stamp is required from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

There are two types of Koseki certificate available:|Koseki Tohon - is a record of all family members.|Koseki Shohon - is a record of one individual family member.

Isarey can obtain a copy of Japanese Koseki certificates directly in Japan for overseas clients requiring an Apostille stamp or consular legalization.

For further information, see:
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How can I get a quote to certify my documents?

To receive a quote, you can upload your documents using our online quotation form or send us your documents by email. After reviewing your documents and requirements, we will get back to you with a quotation:

If you don’t have the documents available, just describe the documents you need to certify, and we will get back to you with an estimation of cost and delivery times.

Using our quotation form, your documents will be uploaded over a secure connection and immediately encrypted on our server. For added protection, you can upload password-protected files ( PDFExternal link (opens in new tab), Microsoft Office 365: Save a password protected document to prevent unauthorized people from opening it. Office DocumentsExternal link (opens in new tab), WinRAR Encryption Frequently asked question (FAQ) RAR foldersExternal link (opens in new tab)) and provide us with the passwords separately.

PERSONAL DATA: If your documents contain personal data belonging to people outside your household, please ensure that you are authorised to share this data before uploading your documents. If your documents contain sensitive personal data, such as biometric data, medical data or data on criminal convictions, please ensure that you indicate this when prompted, upon submitting your documents. For further information on our processing of personal data contained in uploaded documents, please see:
Privacy Policy (Customer Inquiries)

For further information on confidentiality in our handling of document content please see:
Confidentiality (Client Content)

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