City pulls new birth registering form

Kyodo

The city of Akashi in Hyogo Prefecture is scrapping its new birth registration form, introduced just last Tuesday, because there’s no section asking whether children were born out of wedlock.

While the municipality said it wants to avoid confusing residents, the announcement came after the Justice Ministry’s regional bureau advised the city Thursday that the new form infringes a Census Registration Law provision and called on it to take action.

At a news conference Friday, Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said municipal governments are not permitted under current law to unilaterally determine the format of official documents.

Akashi was the first city in the nation to introduce such a registration form after the Supreme Court ruled last month that a decades-old provision in the census law requiring legitimate or illegitimate birth registration “cannot be called essential.”

The municipality had continued to issue the old form and residents could chose which version to complete. Municipal officials said no one has used the new form yet and that the city will consult the Justice Ministry about how to proceed.