Japanese passports

From RetireWiki.jp
The front cover of a Japanese passport.

Japanese citizens can apply for Japanese passports at municipal offices in Japan and at embassies and consulates abroad.

Since 27th March 2023, online applications are possible in some cases, or paper applications can be made at passport issuing offices. Collection of the passport involves the individual visiting the passport issuing office in person.

As can be expected, the majority of official information on Japanese passport applications is only published in Japanese. However, MOFA publishes a limited amount of passport-related information in English, and some Japanese embassies and consulates abroad publish passport-related information in English (eg London, San Francisco).

The MOFA passport page (Japanese) is the main primary source for this article.

Some of the key sub-pages include:


Supporting documents will vary according to whether the application is:

  • First passport application
  • Renewal (no changed details and less than 1 year of remaining validity, or 3 or fewer blank pages remaining)
  • Replacement for lost/damaged/burnt passport
  • Passport with same remaining validity due to changed details

Also, there may be differing requirements between domestic and overseas applications, and between child and adult applications.

Full details in Japanese can be found:

Generally, the documents will include:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Photo
  3. Copy of family register issued within 6 months
  4. Current passport (if renewing/switching)
  5. Identity documents
  6. Evidence of spelling of name if alternative spelling than Hepburn romanisation is used (Hepburn romanisation of the official name in the family register needs to be entered on the first page of the paper form, then there is a box on the reverse of the form to enter the name as it is desired to be rendered in the passport, and evidence should be supplied to support this)

Child passport applications: notes

Children (those aged under 18) may apply for 5-year passports, and a parent or legal guardian must sign an application from a minor. It is not necessary for the child to be present when the application is submitted. However, if the child is not present upon submission, the child will need to be present for collection so that the passport officials can verify that the photo is a true likeness.

Please also be aware of this important information regarding the prevention of possible complications in cases where one parent might not consent to the child obtaining a passport.

Applications for children who have names which are rendered in English in ways other than Hepburn Romanisation (eg Adam instead of Adamu, Alice instead of Arisu, Smith instead of Sumisu) should refer to Notes on names. In such instances, the passport application form has boxes to note both the Hepburn Romanisation of the name and the alternative rendering. Evidence for the use of the alternative rendering may be requested.


Passport type Standard fee 'Penalty fee'
10-year passport (18 years old and over) ¥16,000 ¥22,000
5-year passport (12 years old and over) ¥11,000 ¥17,000
5-year passport (under 12 years old) ¥6,000 ¥12,000
Passport with same remaining validity ¥6,000 -

The higher 'penalty fee' is applicable if, within 5 years, an applicant previously submitted a passport application but failed to pick up the passport within 6 months, invalidating the passport. his applies to passports applied for on or after March 27, 2023 that expire without being issued, and does not apply to passports applied for prior to this date that expire.

Fees are ordinarily payable on collection of the passport, and are made in revenue stamps. (Thus, non-collected passports are not paid for, which may have influenced the penalty fee policy.) Some prefectures may accept credit card payments with online applications. Embassies and consulates may have different payment arrangements.

Notes on names

Other notes

  • Passport number will be new upon renewal[1]
  • For renewals (etc.), the old passport will be cancelled at the time of collection of the new passport and returned to the holder; thus, the individual will never be without a passport

2023 changes

Changes to passport applications came into force on 27th March 2023, as part of the implementation of revised passport law. Major changes are:

  1. Electronic applications are possible in some circumstances
  2. Change of paper application form: old versions can no longer be used
  3. Family register: only a copy of the family register will be accepted ("certificate of all matters") as a supporting document; previously an extract of the family register had been acceptable
  4. Abolishment of system to add extra visa pages: this change was to align to international standards, and extra inserted pages were susceptible to fraud. From 27th March 2023, those with little or no remaining space can apply for either (1) a “passport with the same remaining validity period” or (2) a new passport (validity period of 5 or 10 years)
  5. New fees in cases where an applicant did not collect a passport within 6 months, and applies for a new passport within 5 years: if you apply for a passport but it expires without receiving it within 6 months of issuance, if you apply for a new passport within 5 years after expiry, the fee will be higher than usual. This applies to passports applied for on or after March 27, 2023 that expire without being issued, and does not apply to passports applied for prior to this date that expire.

Japanese passport statistics

MOFA issues passport statistics (Japanese) every February 20th (Passport Day). These include:

  1. The number of Japanese passports issued in 2022 was approximately 1.37 million, an increase of 117.5% from the previous year. Of these, approximately 1.24 million were issued in Japan (approximately 90.7% of the total).
  2. The number of reports of loss or theft in 2022 was about 14,000 (up 138.4% from the previous year), of which about 80% occurred in Japan.
  3. Currently (as of the end of 2022), the total number of valid passports is about 21.75 million (down about 2.65 million from the end of last year).


Many thanks to the following RetireWiki.jp users for writing this article:

Kuma, Adamu