SYSTEM TO INDICATE ALTERNATIVE SURNAME AND/OR ALTERNATIVE GIVEN NAME ON JAPANESE PASSPORT
The specification of Japanese passports basically comply with ICAO Doc 9303 by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), except that former surname, alternative surname and/or alternative given name may be indicated in brackets in the name field in Japanese passports.
The formal surname and the formal given name of the bearer indicated on Japanese passports shall be based on the Japan’s family register. However, former surname, alternative surname and/or alternative given name in brackets could be indicated after the formal surname (primary identifier) and/or the formal given name (secondary identifier) together with a caption on the data page of the passport, if the Minister for Foreign Affairs or the Consular Official, based on the request from the passport applicant, confirm the former surname, alternative surname and/or the alternative given name, that are different from the formal surname and/or given name indicated in the family register, are recognized in the their social life through official documents issued by the governmental organizations and local public entities and deem it especially necessary for the convenience of the bearer’s traveling and staying abroad.
Please also note that former surname, alternative surname and/or alternative given name may appear in the visual inspection zone (VIZ) only. They are not indicated in the machine readable zone (MRZ) and not recorded in the IC chip of the ePassport.
As the Japanese nationality and status of the passport bearer is confirmed through collating the formal surname and the formal given name with the family register by the Japanese authorities, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan requests all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer, a Japanese national, to pass freely and without hindrance and, in case of need, to afford him or her every possible aid and protection.
Please inquire, if necessary, at the Passport Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for detailed information.
[Note] Japan’s family register (“Koseki”) is an official document that records and certifies the identity and family relationships of Japanese nationals on the basis of Family Registration Act.
【Reference 1】Image of Japanese passports (w/o alternative names)
【Reference 2】Image of Japanese passports indicated with the former surname
【Reference 3】Image of Japanese passports indicated with the surname and given name of the bearer in other nationality