My name is Beth Norman. I thought I would write this topic regarding Getting Married in Japan as it is not as straight forward as many may think.
Quick background for everyone: My husband is an E-3 serving aboard USS Fitzgerald and I am an American citizen.
When my husband and I began to talk about getting married here in Japan, he routed a Marriage Request chit. This had to go through all heads of commands on his ship and be signed off. This was under the file COMNAVFORJAPANINST 1752.1R. In here it gives you a step by step process on what should be done.
On my side of the paperwork for the Marriage Request chit to authorized and signed off I had a few things to complete. I needed to do an Overseas Medical/Dental screening, this form is under NAVMED 1300/1. I took this to my doctors and dentist and had them complete the form according to the instructions. The medical form took abit longer as they went through all questions and made notes where appropriate of any surgeries etc. The dental one just highlights it into 4 Levels. Level 2 and Below seem to be if your dentist believes work may need to be done but is not immeadiate action required. Whereas Level 3 and above, highlights work which will need to be completed quite soon after arriving or should be completed where you reside first before moving.
Once I had all this paperwork back along with my US Passport, I sent this information back across to my Husband who then also had his done minus his Passport. This went into the marriage request and it was all authorized. Make sure your passport has at least 3yrs on it before expiration.
Once I arrived here in Japan, we then went to Legal and obtained Affidavit to Marry for Active US Duty Military Members. Please note ***the wife to be also requires one which Legal at Yokosuka can provide as long as she is an American citizen. Otherwise if she is another Nationality then you will need to travel to her Country's Embassy in Japan and obtain the Affadavit from them. The Authorisation to Marry section of your Affadavits need to be completed by Legal. Have them put their stamps on and also sign their name just like they did on the English version. They do not need to press a seal on the Japanese version, have your translator put their name in Katakana below where Legal stamped. Once both Affadavits are complete these then need to be translated into Japanese Katakana.
You will also need to approach Yokosuka City Hall and obtain the Report of Marriage, this is no longer kept at More's City 7th Floor as stated in Legal's page. Once you arrive at City Hall, you want section 10-13 which is in Orange and says below Census Registration. See if they will provide you with two Report of Marriage forms and use one to write your information in English on so that when it gets translated your translator only needs to look at the English and can write in Katakana Japanese on the other one which you will submit. After all the information has been translated and along with your US Passports or if you have Birth Certificates (this needs a Japanese translation to accompany it) you are now ready to approach City Hall.Yokosuka City Hall is open from 0830-1700, Monday to Friday. Go back to Section 10-13 and provide them with all your paperwork.For us it took about 2hrs for everything to be completed but this also included running back to where our translator was to fill out sections which were not complete.We arrived back in Yokosuka City Hall at 1600, went to Section 10-13 and provided the paperwork. We then waited for them to look over all our paperwork, they then handed us back my passport and husbands birth certificate. We then walked over to Certificate Applications which is in blue Section 1-4. The person who we dealt with at Section 10-13 walked down with us and handed the next person a green form which stated how many Marriage Certificates we wanted and also our names and birth dates were written down. We asked for two. This was a total cost of 700yen, so 350yen each. Then just before 1700 we were given our Marriage Certificates. This is the only legal way for your marriage to be recognised here in Japan.One of the Marriage Certificates has been given to an approved translator by Navy Legal to translate into English for us. Our translator is charging us 3,000yen for this service.Please keep an eye for WHAT TO DO REGARDING NAME CHANGE AFTER MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE ISSUED. The Japanese have a different way of taking their last name then we do. This will tell you the next procedure.Any questions? Please feel free to PM me.Beth
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Posted By Beth Norman on 12-14-2011 10:35 PM
I am very happy that I got married here in Japan. Any marriage can fail no matter where you get Married, just because we did it here in Japan doesnt mean it will. This was an informative post. I have known my husband for 12yrs and we have grown up together. Im sorry but there was no reason to put the comment you did. A marriage fails for a number of things but certainly not because of the Country where the marriage took place.