Family Registries: Are there some sort of regulations?

Family Registries:
A Peek at
the Hourei Koseki Regulation

Family Registries:
Hourei Koseki Regulations

Because of the wealth of information contained in the family registries, the municipal offices of all cities, towns, and villages regard these records as extremely private in nature. The Koseki regulation referred to as Hourei prescribes the information which koseki records will contain as well as the occasions on which municipal offices must be notified of changes within the family so that the record can be appropriately updated. The Koseki regulation can be viewed in Japanese here.
(Note: If you can read Japanese, but your computer does not support Japanese, go to Shodouka Launchpad and paste the following URL into their window: )

Section 10 of the hourei regulation states who may obtain records. We definitely do not fancy ourselves as legal experts (and request that you don't either), so we are only able to offer a sketchy rundown of information that may apply to those wishing to obtain copies of koseki records. Section 10 states basically that any individual who fills out the appropriate forms and pays the required fee can request and may possibly receive a copy of someone else's koseki. (You may request that a koseki be sent to you by mail as long as you include postage along with the koseki copy fee. Koseki copy fees are generally about ¥500 or approximately $6.00USD.) The koseki request form requires that you state or explain your reason for wanting a copy of the koseki. The governing body of the respective village, town, or city may refuse the request if they deem your reason for wanting a copy of the koseki as inappropriate. The mayor of the village, city, or town is the first and has the final authority over which reasons are considered appropriate. The city employees in their responses to requests for copies of koseki follow guidelines established by this higher governing authority.

The next question that naturally follows then is what then is considered a good reason for wanting a copy of koseki? We'd like tips on this subject. Send any tips you have on this subject to the Koseki Posting Page!

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