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Official Seal Confirmation and Apostille

Both official seal and Apostille are proof of Ministry of Foreign Affairs for official documents issued by Japanese public offices, local governments, etc. It is not rare to see that Japanese official documents are required for various official procedures in each country. also certification issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs certification is often required (for marriage, divorce, birth, visa acquisition, company establishment, real estate purchase, etc)

・Currently living in Japan with a spouse visa and have plan on purchasing a property in home country

・A graduation certificate are required for working overseas And in other various situations.

Below is the difference between the two documents.

Apostille

It is the certification of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs based on attachment note (Apostille) which is based on the Hague Convention (a treaty that does not require the certification of foreign official documents). It can only be used when the recipient country belongs to the Hague Convention and it can be used as a valid document by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as “Apostille” without going through the consular certification procedure of the recipient country.

※Some member countries of the Hague Convention require consular certification.

Official Seal Confirmation

This is the certificate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is required in advance to obtain certification (consular certification) by a consulate of a foreign embassy or consulate in Japan.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs certifies official documents. After receiving the official seal confirmation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, be sure to obtain the consular certification of the foreign embassy/consulate in Japan.

• The official seal confirmation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a proof that you need to obtain a consular certification at a foreign embassy or consulate in Japan after reception, so be sure to obtain the certification from the foreign consulate in Japan before submitting it to the relevant organizations of the destination country.

• It may be the case that the institution to which the submission is made does not require the official seal confirmation certificate of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but the certification of the Japanese Embassy or Consulate General is required instead. Please note that documents that have been certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot be re-certified at the local Japanese Embassy or Consulate General.

Member Countries of Hague Convention

A
Albania
Andorra
Antigua
Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan

B
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Brunei Darussalam
Bulgaria
Burundi

C
Cape Verde
Chile
China (Hong Kong)
China (Macao)
Colombia
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic

D
Denmark
Dominica
Dominican Republic

E
Ecuador
El Salvador
Estonia

F
Fiji
Finland
France
FYR of Macedonia 

G
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Grenada
Guatemala
Guyana

H
Honduras
Hungary

I
Iceland
India
Ireland
Israel
Italy

J
Japan

K
Kazakhstan
Korea, Republic of – (South Korea)
Kosovo
Kyrgyzstan

L
Latvia
Lesotho
Liberia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg

M
Malawi
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritius
Mexico
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Morocco

N
Namibia
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niue
Norway

O
Oman

P
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
The Philippines
Poland
Portugal

R
Republic of Moldova
Romania
Russian Federation

S
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Samoa
San Marino
Sao Tome and Principe
Serbia
Seychelles
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Suriname
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland

T
Tajikistan
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey

U
Ukraine
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United States of America
Uruguay
Uzbekistan

V
Vanuatu
Venezuela
 

Apostille and official seal confirmation service centers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  1. Headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Tokyo)

Location

Ministry of Foreign Affairs South Building 1 F

Kasumigaseki 2-2-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8919

Certification Section, Center for Consular Services, Consular Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Phone number

03-3580-3311 (Main number)

You will reach an operator when you dial the main number. Please tell the operator to transfer to extension 2308.

Monday to Friday (except holidays)

9:00-12:30, 13:30-17:00

Pickup time

Next business day of application, Monday to Friday

(Excluding holidays) 9:00 to 12:30, 13:30 to 17:00

*Please be aware that you will not receive it on the day of application.

2. Osaka Liaison Office

Location

4th floor, Osaka National Government Building No.4, 4-1-76 Otemae Chuo-ku, Osaka city, 540-0008

Certification Section, Osaka Liaison Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Phone number

06-6941-4700

Monday to Friday (except holidays)

【Inquiry by phone】09:00-12:15, 13:15-17:00

【Opening hour of application desk】10:00-12:15, 13:15-15:00

Pickup time

Next business day of application, Monday to Friday (excluding weekends and holidays)

9:00 to 12:15, 13:15 to 17:00

*Please be aware that you will not receive it on the day of application.

Flow of acquisition

  1. Official seal confirmation

Acquisition of documents → Translation → Notary public office (certification of notary) → Legal Affairs Bureau (certification of notary) → Ministry of Foreign Affairs (public seal confirmation) → Consulate (certification of consular)

2. Apostille

Document acquisition → Translation → Notary public office (certification of notary) → Legal Affairs Bureau (certification of notary) → Consulate (Apostille)

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