• Compiled From Kyodo, Staff Report

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Seven-Eleven Japan Co. launched a new service Tuesday enabling customers to get residence and personal seal certification at its convenience stores in Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture instead of going to city offices.

The issuance of “juminhyo” (residence certificates) and “inkan toroku shomeisho” (registered seal certificates) marks a first for convenience stores and for now is available only to residents of Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, the suburb of Mitaka, and people living in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture.

The service will be extended to all 12,600 Seven-Eleven outlets in 38 prefectures by May, according to the company, which is under the wing of Seven & I Holdings Co.

Foreigners will not receive residence certificates until the revision of the immigration law and the resident registration law, passed last July, takes effect in July 2012.

Japanese and foreigners need a certificate of personal seals only when they establish a business, make a big purchase such as a house, or borrow money. Such seals are not required, for example, when signing an apartment rental contract.

Seven-Eleven hopes the new service attracts more customers.

The company has been working with the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry and local authorities since spring 2008 to launch the service.

Customers will be able to insert their resident registry network cards into a new terminal for identification and get a printout of the document they need. The fee will be ¥200 to ¥250 for each copy.

Printouts are forgery-proof to make sure personal data are not falsified, Seven-Eleven said, adding the terminal network has advanced security features to protect personal information.

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