New Zealand Embassy Tokyo, Japan
Getting Married in Japan
In order to get married in Japan, the couple must apply to register the marriage at their local city/ward office. If the application is accepted, the couple is then recognised as being married. Religious and other ceremonies do not form part of the legal process of marriage.
For required documents, please check with the city/ward office. Non-Japanese nationals will need to submit a document issued by their country certifying that there is no impediment to the marriage. In the case of New Zealand citizens, the document is called a Certificate of No Impediment and is issued upon application to the Department of Internal Affairs in Wellington. Where both parties are New Zealand citizens, both must obtain a certificate. Please check with your city/ward office as to whether it will require a Japanese translation of the certificate. If a translation is sought from the embassy, the current fee is ¥11,200.
A certificate of registration (kekkon shomeisho) will be issued by the city/ward office as proof of the marriage. Where one party is Japanese, the marriage is recorded in the family register (koseki tohon).
A marriage registered in Japan will be recognised in New Zealand in its own right. For Japanese visa applications, Japanese immigration authorities may require evidence of this fact, and a document prepared by the Embassy to this effect is available here.
It is not necessary to register a marriage in Japan in New Zealand as well. In fact, it is not possible to do so unless an embassy diplomatic officer attends with the couple when the registration is lodged at the city/ward office. It is stressed that while this option exists, it has no practical or legal benefit, and is rarely sought for other than personal preference. The fee for this attendance service can be provided on application.
For further information on marriage, please see the Department of Internal Affairs website.