Cases of marriage of both are foreigners

Matters regarding marriage, divorce, parent child affairs, and adoption between two foreign nationals or between a foreign national and a Japanese national, are called general terms, international domestic affairs. For acts of this type, the first thing to consider is to decide which country’s law will be applicable.

In Japan, the applied principle is the principle of the national city, in other words laws of one’s home country.

The “General Principle act states which law should apply in the case of marriage (called applicable law).

It states that the basic requirements necessary to validate a marriage should be based on the laws of the home country. With regards to which procedure should be adopted, the law governing the country in which the marriage took place applies.

Formalities of marriage based on the law of one of the partiesI home country are valid as long as neither of the parties are Japanese nationals (if one of them is a Japanese national, then the formalities based on the Japanese law need to be applied).

Let us apply this to the given question above.

As for the substan-tive requirements which are necessary for the marriage to be effective, laws of home country will apply, since both parties are from same country. Therefore, issues such as the minimum age with which one can get married, limits imposed for a marriage amongst relations, the effect from a legal point of view in the case of bigamy, whether the parent or guardian need to consent for a marriage of a minor, whether remarriage is possible for a woman divorcee and if so, how long does she have to wait before she can seek to remarry, will all be decided up-on according to the law of their home country.

Secondly, the formalities are subject to Japanese civil code.

According to the provisions in the civil code, the CensusRegistration Law states that the two parties together with two adult witnesses must file a notification of marriage either verbally or in writ-ing with a signature (article 739). Normally, the necessary information is provided in a notification of marriage and submitted to the registrar in charge of the family records at the municipal office of the city, ward, town or village.

Upon submitting the notification of marriage, the public office will confirm that the marriage is not in violation of the relevant provisions of the applicable law, before accepting.

However, regarding foreign nationals, since it is difficult for he public office to examine each time whether the substantive requirements to validate the marriage have been fully satisfied, you are required to submit a certificate containing the marriage requirements, issued by the authorities of the home country.

For refugees who may find it difficult to obtain a certificate issued by the authorities of their home country, a statement explaining that such a certificate is difficult to obtain can be submitted together with a document proving your identity, or a copy of the certificate of alien registration. Your case will be subject to an individual examination. Upon examination, once it has been judged that the substantive re-quirements and the formalities have both been met, then the notifica-tion of marriage is accepted and your marriage becomes valid.