There are thousands of people in Japan who are not listed on a family register. Such people face various difficulties, given that the family register is an official document that certifies individuals’ basic legal status, including Japanese nationality, and also lists their birth date, marital status and date of death. Unregistered Japanese, for example, cannot vote or run as a candidate in elections, join the public health insurance system, obtain a driver’s license or sit for state examinations for certain qualifications.

A civic group estimates that some 10,000 Japanese are unregistered. Many of them are believed to be in such a situation because of difficult circumstances surrounding their parents’ marriage. The government should immediately take steps to resolve these problems and relieve unregistered Japanese of the difficulties they face in their daily lives, especially in receiving administrative services.

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