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Kosekis and Parents Rights 2019/4/29 17:37
My partner (F, Australian) and I (M, Japanese) recently had a baby girl. We are an unmarried couple living in Australia, and are currently discussing the little one's registration back in Japan for her dual citizenship.

We have registered her as 'Mary Tanaka Smith' (fictitious name) on her Australian birth certificate, with her taking her mother's surname, and keeping my surname as her middle name. She will also have this exact name for her Australian passport.

At the moment we're re discussing registering her birth in Japan as Mary Tanaka, with her Japanese passport listing her as "Mary Tanaka (Smith)" to match her Australian documents.

My understanding is that as my partner is unmarried and not a Japanese citizen, she will be listed on the koseki as the mother, but not formally registered. Is anyone aware of any difference in parental rights if Mary were to be registered under my koseki as 'Mary Tanaka', as opposed to being on her own koseki as 'Mary TanakaSmith' or 'Mary Smith' (where my partner and I would both only be listed as the father and mother, but not formally registered)?

My partner's other concern is if she were to be in Japan with our daughter, as a non-Japanese citizen/unmarried mother she may not have equal rights to have a say as myself in regards to things like medical care in case of accidents, etc. We have no plans to move back to Japan, but will inevitably end up spending a bit of time in Japan to visit relatives and extended family over the years.

Have any of you had any issues with regards to things like this? We're interested in hearing from non-Japanese partners/spouses with children in similar situations regarding any issues they've encountered in Japan.
by Throwaway Tanaka (guest)  

Re: Kosekis and Parents Rights 2019/4/30 13:21
Congratulations to your new baby!

I can’t answer any of your questions but don’t think about it for too long. I think you have only 14 days to register your baby so she gets Japanese nationality. If you delay the registration it’s going to be at least much harder.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kosekis and Parents Rights 2019/4/30 14:02
Thanks, they've actually given us 90 days from DOB so we've a bit of time, but definitely don't want her to miss out on citizenship!
by Throwaway Tanaka (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kosekis and Parents Rights 2019/4/30 14:06

There are a few things you need to be aware of.
So you are not married. And you did not take the 胎児認知 procedure prior to the baby’s birth.
When the parents are NOT married at the time of the birth of the child, things get a bit complicated.

For a child born between Japanese father and non-Japanese mother, when the parents are not married at the time of birth and no 胎児認知was done by the Japanese father, you need to take special procedure to ensure that in the future the baby will be granted Japanese citizenship. (Law firm website for info.)

[As you were not married at the time, the baby has not been granted Japanese nationality automatically. Had you been married, the baby would have received dual citizenship automatically, and you’d have had to do 国籍の留保 procedure instead. See Q14.
http://www.moj.go.jp/MINJI/minji78.html#a14 ]

So until the first procedure is taken, the baby has not been granted Japanese citizenship, so is not yet entered into your “koseki” as your child. I am not familiar with how an unmarried mother will be entered into “koseki,” but please note that a non-Japanese will not be officially “entered” into any “koseki” at all, except in the “remarks” column.
I am Japanese, and my husband is non-Japanese, and our marriage is entered into the “remarks” column of my independent “koseki” as “AK married Mr. So-and-so on (date) according to (XX) law.” That is all.

Unless you get married, currently there is no visa category for “fiancé” or “common law wife/husband,” so your partner will probably be entering Japan as Temporary Visitor only, with limited time allowed to remain in Japan. Also if you are living in Australia, if you move back to Japan for any extended period of time, you’d have to enroll national health insurance system to be eligible for health insurance coverage. Unfortunately she will not be covered (not a married spouse). So she’d have to come with overseas travel insurance.

by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Kosekis and Parents Rights 2019/4/30 14:10
A regional 法務局 giving the answer on the father-child issue (similar to the first link on my earlier comment):
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Kosekis and Parents Rights 2019/4/30 19:00
Sorry to be unclear, I have actually completed the 胎児認知 at the consulate here prior to her being born so that bit isn't an issue :)

With regards to the koseki, my understanding was that my daughter's registration will list my partner by name under 'mother', even though my partner will not formally be registered on the koseki.
by Throwaway Tanaka (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kosekis and Parents Rights 2019/4/30 19:25
I am relieved to hear that you had that procedure 胎児認知 done. So your daughter has dual citizenship. (Then you’d have to check the 国籍の留保 process that I mentioned.)

Then your baby girl will be registered on to your “koseki” as your daughter, and probably (I can only guess, no experience with this) the mother’s name will appear as a note to your daughter.

I can only guess, but as far as I know, yes, if you register your daughter's name as Mary Tanaka (or Mari, マリ, in case you have to write it in kana), as far as all Japanese official documents go, she will have that name. And on her passport, just as an “reference” she can have her family name in parenthesis, so Mary Tanaka (Smith). You'll have to take her birth certificate to the office that issues her Japanese passport to have that additional bit added.
I have something similar – my “koseki” name remains Hanako Suzuki, but on my passport just so that it is easy to show that I am married to my husband with the family name Jones, my name appears on my passport as Hanako Suzuki (Jones) for convenience.

Still what I wrote earlier about the mother of your daughter remains valid I believe; unless you are legally married she would not be granted the “spouse of Japanese national” visa, so she will be coming to Japan on “temporary visitor” visa, and if the three of you ever decide to live long-term in Japan, you might have to look into “long-term resident” in some way.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Koseki, nationality, and parental rights and duties 2019/5/1 06:32
Family register [koseki] and parental right or duty are not perfectly linked.
Your girl's family register is not to show who has her parental rights and duties.

Your girl was born in Australia to her Australian mother
and therefore did acquire by birth the Australian nationality.
In that case, as AK says, her Japanese nationality needs to be reserved.
At "日本国籍を留保する" in the birth notification form,
you the notifier sign and put a personal seal.

Japan adopts the policy of single nationality.
On the supposition that the rules on the Japanese nationality remain the same,
she is demanded to choose one nationality by the time she reaches the age 22.

This time, a new family register is created for her,
because her parents were not legally married at the time of her birth
and her mother is not a Japanese national.

When your marriage to your partner is notified,
a new family register is created for you.
Then, due to your affiliation,
you can make her enter your family register.

Do you know what municipally is managing your family register?
(The area of this municipally is called 本籍地 .)

Consulate-General of Japan, Melbourne
- 出生届 (birth notification)
- 胎児認知後の出生届記入例

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
- 入籍届の書式

Following the succession to the Imperial throne,
the era name 平成 was changed to 令和 [ れいわ ] from May 1.
Now it is 令和元年 in Japan.
So, 平成 used for the notification date has to be corrected.

I have actually completed the 胎児認知 at the consulate here

You have legally affiliated the girl before birth (胎児認知する) to yourself.
At the time of her birth,
your affiliation took effect, therefore you became her legal father.
That means, you already have parental rights and duties as her parent,
regardless of whether her birth has been legally notified
or how she appears in her family register.
by omotenashi rate this post as useful

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