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A seal is required in various situations in Japan. Like a signature, an imprint of a seal with your name engraved on indicates your agreement or approval. While a person may have more than one seal, the stamp designated by the user for use on important official documents is called a “jitsu-in” or “official seal.” The “jitsu-in” is used for all types of contracts (such as for real estate or business) and for official documents when establishing a business. The user must register the stamp at the municipal office in advance and attaches a Seal Registration Certificate (Inkan Toroku Shomeisho) which is issued by the municipal office, to important documents to certify that the stamp is authentic.
As a rule, anyone who is 15 years of age or older may apply to register a seal. Seal registration application forms are handled at Window #7 of the Civil Affairs Section on the first floor of the Mitaka Municipal Office or any branch office. If you bring some form of official personal identification (such as a residence card or special permanent resident certificate) and the seal to be registered, you can register your seal. The handling fee is ¥300.
If someone else applies on your behalf, they must have a letter of proxy and your seal to be registered. Please note that it takes some time to complete the register.
A Seal Registration Certificate (“Inkan Toroku Shomeisho”) is a copy of the imprint of the registered seal. This certificate is not issued unless you have your Seal Registration Card, even if you have the seal with you. If someone else completes the application procedures for you, he/she must have the Seal Registration Card and the applicant’s name, address and date of birth. However, a proxy cannot complete the procedures for you if you have completed seal registration using your individual number card or basic resident registration card. The fee is ¥300.
Inquiries: Notification and Certification Subsection, Civil Affairs Section, Civil Affairs Department (ext. 2326)