Application Procedure Guide
1 Certifiable Documents
Please be advised that the application desk of Certification section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Tokyo headquarters) continues to be closed until further notice. Please apply and receive certificates both by post.
Certifiable documents are official documents (documents issued by public agencies, notarial documents prepared by notary public’s offices, and etc.) which satisfy all requirements of (1)-(3) listed below. For eligible agencies of certifiable official documents, see the below tables Examples of Issuing Agencies of Certifiable Documents. For private documents, the procedure for notarisation of private documents (private deeds for foreign countries) will be required. Even when the document is categorized as not acceptable for certification in the below tables Examples of Issuing Agencies of Certifiable Documents, documents will be certifiable under the procedure for notarisation of private documents. However, even if the issuing agency is considered as a public agency, copies are not certifiable.
- (1) The date of issue appears on the document (within three months from the date of issue).
- (2) The name of issuing agency (name and title of the issuer) appears on the document.
- (3) An official seal (not a private seal or signature) is affixed to the document.
- Please verify that three months have not passed from the date of issue.
- Please note that documents only with a signature or with a private seal are not certifiable.
- Please note that documents whose stapled pages have been removed to make copies of which have been touched up may be refused at the destination agency.
- Please check with the destination agency how many documents they require. Please understand that we do not accept applications for extra documents.
Regarding the notarisation procedure for private documents (private deeds for foreign countries)
When documents to be certified are private documents (those prepared by private persons or by companies, etc.), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot certify such documents directly. Private documents which have received notarisation by a notary public, accompanying a certificate of notary public’s seal by the director of the (district) legal affairs bureau to which the notary public belongs, are certifiable at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as official documents notarized by a notary public.
- For the notarisation procedure for private documents, please visit the website of Japan National Notaries Association (Japanese).
(Examples of Documents)
(of official seals)
|National Institutions, etc. (Certified Copy of Commercial Register, Certificate of criminal record, Certificate of Pharmaceutical / Pesticide Registration, Certificate of Residence, etc.)||○||○|
|Local Governments ((Extract of) Family Register, Residence Certificate, Tax Certificate, etc.)||○||○|
|Notarial documents (Note 1)||○||○|
|Special Corporations, Incorporated Administrative Agencies||○||×|
|Incorporated Foundations, Incorporated Associations, Charitable Organizations, etc.||×||×|
|Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Certificate of Origin, etc.)||×||×|
- Note 1 For a notarial document, a certificate of notary public’s seal by the director of the (district) legal affairs bureau to which the notary public belongs is required. Likewise, for an apostille certification (except one-stop service), you may choose either a notary public or the director of the district legal affairs bureau as the issuer to appear on the certification.
(of official seals)
|National / public university||○||×(Note 2)|
|College of technology which belongs to the Institute of National Colleges of Technology||○||×|
|Public high schools, junior high schools, elementary schools, etc.||○||○|
|Private high schools, junior high schools, elementary schools, etc.||○||×|
|Private vocational schools (vocational schools, vocational colleges), miscellaneous educational institutions||×||×|
- Note 2 An apostille will be issued for certificates issued by national and public universities which have not been incorporated or for diplomas issued by national and public universities prior to their incorporation.
(of official seals)
|National / public hospital, Red Cross hospital||○||○|
|Hospital which belongs to the National Hospital Organization||○||×|
|National university hospital||○||×|
|Private university hospital, private hospitals, healthcare corporation △△ hospitals, etc.||×||×|
- Note 3 Excluding cases when a related document issued by a municipal office or legal affairs bureau (eg. birth, death) can be certified.