English Contact us


国際相続の極意 Inheritance Laws in Japan


Fred Kan & Co.法律事務所(香港)

Inheritance Laws in Japan

Column (5) How to submit a notification of death at a Japanese municipal office.


To Index   To Previous Column   To Next Column

In the previous article, I explained the family register system in Japan.
The family register is a very useful tool that consolidates all the records of a Japanese citizen’s status, from births, marriages, child births, and divorces, to deaths and adoptions of parents.

How to process death report for foreign Japanese citizens

In this article, I will explain how a Japanese citizen who dies overseas can register his/her death with the Japanese authorities.

For example, suppose a Japanese citizen (the decedent) died overseas (in Hawaii).
In order for the Japanese family register to record the “fact of death” of the Decedent, a “notification of death” (“死亡届” Shibou-Todoke) must be submitted to the Japanese municipal office by one of his/her relatives.

In the case of a death in Hawaii, a Hawaiian hospital or doctor will prepare a death certificate stating the date and time of death and the cause of death.

When this is submitted to the Hawaii government office, the office will issue a “death certificate”.

Report to Hawaii government and another report to Japanese government

Next, submit this death certificate along with a “notification of death” form (“死亡届” Shibou-Todoke) to the Japanese municipal office where the decedent’s family register exists, and the family register will record the “death of the Decedent”.

The Japanese government office will only accept documents written in Japanese.
Therefore, the English death certificate issued by the Hawaiian government office must be translated into Japanese and submitted to the Japanese municipal office.

As alternative to going all the way to Japan to report the death, you can also report the death at the Consulate General of Japan in Hawaii.

In case of report at Consulate General of Japan

The Consulate General of Japan will act as a window to receive the death certificate and forward it by mail to the Japanese government (municipal) office, which will record the “death of the Decedent” on the family register.

In this case, it takes about one to two months to complete the process due to the mailing and the correspondence between the consulate and the municipal office.
Therefore, if you are in a hurry, it is recommended that you come to Japan and submit the notification of death (along with the death certificate and its translation) directly to the Japanese municipal office.

Upon the death recorded on the family Register

In this way, the Decedent will not be officially treated as deceased in Japan unless the death is recorded on the Japanese family register by submitting a “notification of death”.
Otherwise, the inheritance procedures for Japanese property (e.g., real property and bank accounts) cannot be initiated.

Therefore, if the Decedent (a Japanese citizen) died abroad, please remember to follow the above procedure to “report the death” and have the fact of death reflected in the Japanese family register.

Even if the Decedent was born in Hawaii or was born in Japan and moved to Hawaii and did not return to Japan for a long time, if he/she had Japanese nationality, he/she would surely have a family register in Japan.
When such a Decedent passes away, do not forget to ” submit a notification of death” to the Japanese municipal office in the method described above.

To Index   To Previous Column   To Next Column

コラム⑤ 日本の役所での死亡届の提出の仕方について











したがって、被相続人が海外で死亡した場合、上記の手順で「死亡届」をして日本の戸籍に死亡の事実を反映しておくことを忘れないようにしましょう。 もしも、被相続人がハワイ生まれだったり、日本で生まれた後ハワイに移住して長いこと日本に帰っていなかったとしても、日本国籍を持っているなら、必ず日本に戸籍を持っているはずです。そのような被相続人が亡くなった時は、上記の方法で日本の役所に「死亡届」をすることを忘れないようにしましょう。

一覧へ  前の記事へ  次の記事へ

Feel Free to Contact us Click here

Ryukyu Law Firm, LPC. (Okinawa, Japan) tel+81-98-862-8619  hpWebsite
Fred Kan & Co. (HK)            tel+852-2598-1318   hpWebsite

Contact by E-mail  email info@silk-stream.com



© 2023 Y. Kinukawa. All rights reserved