As a British citizen getting married in Japan, you need to provide the following paperwork when you go to the town hall to sign the forms for the legal marriage.
- Birth certificate, and translation
- Passport, and translation
- Certificate of No Impediment
The translations of the birth certificate and passport apparently don’t need to be done by a certified translator. You can just get your partner to translate them.
Getting the Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) requires slightly more effort, specially when you’re not resident in Japan. The CNI has to be issued by the British Consulate responsible for your place of residence abroad (i.e. Munich in my case) and then forwarded to the Consulate in Japan – Osaka or Tokyo depending on where the marriage will take place. The Consulate in Japan will then issue the CNI in Japanese and post it on to your address in Japan (assuming you have one; I guess you have to pick it up in person otherwise).
Another complication to getting the CNI is that the consular officer might want to see some kind of proof that the Japanese partner is not already married. In this case you need to get hold of a copy of her/his Kosekitouhon (family register) from his/her local town hall.
Our CNI was issued with no problems, and now we’re all set to get married in Japan later this year. While we were there for Christmas and New Year we finalised the plans for the temple ceremony, clothing, and the reception party. Some pictures will follow later.