In a case of a marriage of a Japanese couple
When a Japanese couple marries in Japan, they should submit a report
of a marriage to the local government such as city,
town, village or special district.
Because it is said that the civil law of Japan adopts the principle of statutory marriage not common law marriage, it is required to execute a procedure defined in the law in order to make its marriage valid.
There is an academic controversy on if an intention for a marriage is necessary or not, while we shall focus on just procedures, here.
Procedures on marriage are defined by "Family Registration Act"「戸籍法」.
Every citizen of Japan is listed in a
family register. The family register is a kind of original ledger of families indicating couple relations and the parenthood.
It can be easily understood that a Japanese couple is required to submit a report of a marriage defined in "Family Registration Act".
When a Japanese couple marries, a new family register is made for the two.
The Family Registration Act defines that every report should be submit to a local government which has its family register or where it has its address.
In a case of a marriage between a Japanese and a foreigner
When a couple between a Japanese and a foreigner marries in Japan, they also need to submit a report of a marriage to the local government.
Needless to say, a foreigner is not required to be written to any family register, while its spouse of Japanese should be reported to its family register and to be moved to a newly made family register of it alone.
Regarding its foreign spouse, it is necessary to be confirmed that a marriage by the foreigner is valid in accordance with laws of its country.
That is why systems and rules on marriage are so various from one country to another country.
Therefore, it is generally required for a foreign spouse to submit to the local government a certificate which show that the conditions of marriage have met, issued by an embassy or a consulate general of its country.
This certificate is called as "Kon-in Yoken Gubi Shomeisho"「婚姻要件具備証明書」.
We recommend you to contact the local government before submission as other documents or materials might be required.
When both of the couple are not Japanese.
They don't need to submit a report of a marriage to the local government.
Each of the couple can generally proceed required procedure at an embassy or a consulate general of its country.
In place of proceeding procedures at an embassy or a consulate general, they also can submit a report of a marriage to the local government.
It shall be required to submit certificates called "Kon-in Yoken Gubi Shomeisho"「婚姻要件具備証明書」of both of the couple.
If a report of a marriage is submitted to the local government, it is able to ask the local government to issue a "certificate of receipt on a report of a marriage「婚姻届受理証明書」 .
Ａ "certificate of receipt on a report of a marriage「婚姻届受理証明書」can be an official certificate of marriage in Japan .
A couple of tourist can submit a registration of a marriage?
A report of a marriage should be submitted to a local government which has its family register or where it has its address, as Family Registration Act"「戸籍法」 defines.
It might be thought that tourists from overseas have no local government to be submitted.
However, some local governments accept reports of marriages by foreign couples who are staying in hotels in the areas where those governments control.
It is not so usual cases that the local governments accept reports of marriage.
If you want to submit a report of a marriage to a local government in Japan, it is recommended to confirm in advance if they can accept reports of marriages or not.