How to Get a Japanese Passport for Baby
If you or your partner is a Japanese citizen, and you are planning to go abroad with your child, you’ll want to apply for a Japanese passport.
Before applying for your baby’s Japanese passport, please keep in mind your country’s stance on dual nationality as well as the Japanese government’s stance on dual nationality.
From the Ministry of Justice:
A person who possesses Japanese and a foreign nationality (a person of dual nationality) shall choose one nationality before he or she reaches twenty two years of age (or within two years after the day when he or she acquired the second nationality if he or she acquired such nationality after the day when he or she reached twenty years of age). If he or she fails to choose his or her nationalities, he or she may lose Japanese nationality.
- 1 Passport photo (45x35mm)
- 2 forms of ID- For a baby, a health insurance card and boshi techou (Maternal and Child Health Handbook) are sufficient forms of ID. Bring both when applying.
- Complete family register (戸籍謄本 koseki tohon) or an abridged family register ( 戸籍抄本 koseki shouhon), issued within 6 months of application date.
- Application form
The application form varies on the type of passport desired. There are two types of passports in Japan- 10 year (red) and 5 year (blue). A 5 year passport is available for minors (under 20).
Passport applications are not available online for download unless you are a Japanese citizen abroad filing for a passport at a foreign country’s Japanese consulate. Passport applications are only available at municipal offices and at the passport application office.
What’s In a Name?
Generally, when applying for a Japanese passport, applicants must use the Hepburn system to romanization for their names as it appears on the family register. Spellings of names which do not confirm to the Hepburn system can be registered if there is a document which has this alternative spelling. For example, an applicant whose name is さら, which should be romanized as “Sara,” can be submitted as “Sarah,” pending the recording of this name in official documents e.g. a foriegn county’s passport or birth certificate.
If you have not filled out an application form prior to visiting the passport center, you will need to fill out your application before getting in line. Once you have completed your form, you may line up at the reception desk. Staff there will go over the passport application with you, review your forms of id and passport photo dimensions. You will be given a number. Wait until your number is called, and staff will go over your application and documents one more time before handing you a receipt, a pink sheet of paper which will be needed to pick up your baby’s passport one week later.
A 5 year passport for a minor under 12 years of age is 6,000 yen, to be paid by revenue stamp on the day of pickup. If you do not have cash, there is a 7/11 nearby (Tokyo Shinjuku location).
Where to Apply
Tokyo residents have the option of going to one of four passport centers: Tachikawa, Ikebukuro, Yurakucho, or Shinjuku.
In my case, I went to the Shinjuku location:
Tocho Tomin Hiroba 1F
2-8-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Nearest station: Toei Oedo Line Tochomae Station, Exit A3
Note: If you plan on using a stroller when going to the Passport Center in Shinjuku use the elevator at exit A4. Walk through the Tokyo Metropoitan Government Buidiing (Tocho). If you are unsure of the way to the Passport Center, staff at the information desk will be happy to assist you.
Hours of Operation
Thursday and Friday: 09:00-17:00
All passport centers close on Saturday, national holidays, and from December 29 to January 3. If a holiday falls on a Sunday, the center will remain open. However, centers close on the make up holiday.
Avoid Going on These Days
Here are a few a useful graphics to help you plan avoiding busy times, all courtesy of the Bureau of Cultural and Citizen Affairs. Generally it’s best to avoid the period around holidays such as Golden Week, New Year’s and Obon.
Passport Pick Up
Currently, there is no option for receiving passports via mail. Be sure to bring your baby with you when picking up the passport. Staff want to confirm the identity of the person to whom the passport is issued. Remember to bring your receipt as well.
Passports take 6 days to process, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, and the dates between December 29 and January 3.
The Bureau of Citizens and Cultural Affairs has handy calendars on their website that lets you know exactly when your passport is ready for pick up, based on the day of your application.
Claim your passport within 6 months of application. If more than 6 months pass, you will be unable to claim your passport.
Pick up times
Thursday and Friday: 09:00-17:00
All passport centers close on Saturday, national holidays, and from December 29 to January 3. If a holiday falls on a Sunday, the center will remain open. However, centers close on the make-up holiday.
Check out my visit to the Shinjuku Passport Center with baby:
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