• Kyodo News


Passports for unregistered children born within 300 days of their mother’s divorce must be issued under the family name of the ex-husband, even if he is not the biological father, government sources said Wednesday.

The Foreign Ministry will amend a ministerial ordinance on the Passport Law by the end of this month in accordance with the decision, which will inevitably meet opposition from those who are against the Civil Code provision that stipulates that children born within 300 days of a woman’s divorce should be considered as having been fathered by the ex-husband.

The government has no choice but to use the former husbands’ family names in line with the Civil Code in the absence of clear legal relationships between the unregistered children and their biological fathers, the sources said.

As Japanese nationals are required to attach copies of their family register to acquire passports, the government has so far refused to issue such documents to unregistered children.

In April, Foreign Minister Taro Aso instructed officials of his ministry to issue passports even to unregistered children as an exceptional measure amid mounting public calls for a Civil Code revision and increasing overseas school excursions.

In issuing the passports, the government plans to require parents to prove the parental relationship between the children and their mothers of Japanese nationality.

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