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Japan/how do i obtain a death certificate for my mother who died in okinawa


Hello, My name is Ginger Noereberg-linares. My mother passed away in Okinawa on August 27, 2007. I was unable to attend her funeral. I need to obtain my mother's death certificate due to property she and my father had here in the states. From What i was told by my brother's, The Japanese government doesn't recognize me as being her daughter so what are some things you can suggest i do to be able to obtain her death certificate?

Hi Ginger,

I don't have a lot of detailed information for you, but the US Embassy offers some information here:

Basically, if your mother was an American citizen, see the section on "Report of the Death of an American Citizen". There should be a paper trail through the American government.

However, if your mother was NOT an American citizen, then you will have to contact the Japanese government. There is some more information here:

I would suggest that the Embassy or your closest Consulate may be able to help point you in the right direction if this is the case, but the truth is I think it will be challenging without a Japanese speaker to contact them on your behalf.

Good luck!



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Steve Battisti


I`m always willing to give help, or at least my opinions on things related to Japan. I think I'm especially strong at helping out non-native Japanese speakers with the language. Also, helping others understand the culture, such as U.S. businessmen who have to do business with Japanese. I'm not doing translations right now, unless it's just a phrase or a word. More of a language and general Japanese culture guy than a travel/history expert.

PLEASE NOTE: I cannot answer questions about the following:

  • Pottery or art object - I strongly recommend you take these to an antique specialist
  • Finding people - I can't answer these. I just have no way of knowing if the person you're looking for WANTS to be found, and I'm just not willing to risk it. I recommend you contact a private investigator if you desperately need to find someone.

Sorry for the inconvenience!


10+ years of studying Japan and Japanese language. I lived there for 5 years, one as a student, four as a businessman. Most importantly, I lived there because I wanted to live there, not because someone sent me there!

BA in Japanese

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