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Regisration of seal
what is an lnkan?
Your signature and seal (Inkan) are necessary for official documents and agreements. Most Japanese have personal stamps called "Inkan," which are used officially, and "Hanko," which are for routine use. An "Inkan" plays the same role in Japan as a signature in Europe and North America. Ready-made "Inkan" stamps are sold at "Inkan" stores but non-Japanese names are not available. You can, however, ask the "Inkan" store to create a custom-made "Inkan" stamp. Having an Inkan will make your life in Japan much more convenient, so we recommend that you have a store create one for you.
Registration of Seal
When you purchase real estate such as a house or land, or a car, you cannot exchange agreements with a normal Inkan. For important agreements, you need an Inkan called a "Jitsuin." This "Jitsuin" is an Inkan that has been registered with the City Office.
A non-Japanese resident aged 15 or more can register his or her Inkan provided he or she has alien registration. The registration procedure is done at the City Office. At this time, you need your Certificate of Alien Registration and the Inkan that you want to register. Your agent can register your Inkan on your behalf. To do so, however, your letter of attorney and a guarantor are necessary. Note that an agent cannot also act as a guarantor. You must ask your guarantor to stamp the letter of attornery with his or her registered Inkan.
You should note that some Inkan cannot be registered. The types of Inkan that cannot be registered are explained below:
  1. An Inkan stamp that does not express the name appearing on the Certificate of Alien Registration or an accepted alias.
  2. An Inkan whose diameter is less than 8 mm or equal to or greater than 25 mm.
  3. An Inkan made of rubber or synthetic resins which could deform easily.
  4. An Inkan that produces and unclear impression.
  5. An Inkan that has no border, or one on which the border is damaged.
  6. An Inkan of Sakabori or Taikoban
  7. An Inkan with a double or ornamental border
After you complete the procedure, a Certificate of Seal Registration will be issued. This provides evidence that your Inkan has been registered. Once your Inkan is registered, you can use this Inkan as your "Jitsuin." For details, contact the Citizens section.
Certificate of Seal lmpression
When an important agreement is to be exchanged, you need a Certificate of Seal Impression (Inkan Shoumei) in addition to your "Jitsuin." This Certificate of Seal Impression is used to prove that the Inkan is really the officially registered "Jitsuin." To apply for the Certificate of Seal Impression, you need to present the Certificate of Seal Registration at City Office.
〔Contacts〕 Citizens section, Photo (046) 225-2110