What is an Apostille?

An Apostille (a certification) is affixed to a document by a competent authority of the originating country, which is a party to the Apostille Convention, to certify the authenticity of a document to be used in another party to the Convention.

In 14 May 2019, the Apostille Convention (The Hague Convention of 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents) entered into force in the Philippines, which streamlined the process of certifying/authenticating a document issued in the Philippines and to be used in countries that are party to the Convention.

Is Japan a member of the Apostille Convention?

Yes, just like the Philippines, Japan is also a member/party to the Apostille Convention. Hence, documents that are issued in Japan and to be used in the Philippines will be issued an Apostille by the competent authority in Japan.

Where can I get an Apostille for my document which is issued here in Japan and to be used in the Philippines?

Public/official documents issued by government offices in Japan and to be used in the Philippines will be issued an Apostille by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (Gaimusho). On the other hand, documents issued by private individuals or entity should first be notarised by the Notary Public Office in Japan (Kosho Yakuba) before it could be issued an Apostille by the Ministry.

The Apostillized documents no longer need authentication by the Philippine Embassy or Philippine Consulate General in Japan. Once apostillized, the document may already be used in the Philippines.

For information on certification services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, including the Apostille, kindly check this link from the Ministry’s website: https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/cs/page22e_000416.html. The Ministry’s Certification Section (Shomei-han) may also be contacted at telephone no. 03-35803311.

Can I get an Apostille for my document issued in the Philippines at the Philippine Embassy or Philippine Consulate General in Japan?

No, documents that originated in the Philippines may only be issued an Apostille by the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Philippines.