Recent changes to property registration law and the impact on foreign buyers – JAPAN PROPERTY CENTRAL K.K.


Starting April 1, some major rule changes were made to the Real Property Registration Act that affect how foreign individuals and corporations register their details when acquiring real estate. One of those rule changes suggested that offshore owners would require a local contact to be recorded on the property title – but reading into the fine print provides a different, and less worrying procedure.

Are offshore buyers now required to have a local a contact person in Japan?


Buyers who do not reside in Japan have the option to record the contact details of a domestic point of contact on the property register when there is a change of property ownership, but only if they have one.

If the contact is a private individual, their name and Japanese address will be required. If the contact is a corporation, the company’s address of operations, name, and company registration number, if applicable, will be required. These contact details will be recorded on the public property register. The contact person or company will also have to submit identification certificates such as a registered seal certificate, certificate of residence, or the company’s certificate of registered matters, along with a signed letter of consent.

But, if the buyer does not have a contact person or contact company, they can register the property with ’no domestic point of contact’. See below.

Buyers can now register their name on the property register in the English alphabet

Buyers will be now also able to register their name in the English alphabet on the property register. Previously, only Japanese (kanji and katakana) script was allowed, which made it difficult to confirm the identity when comparing the Japanese spelling to the individual’s passport or other identifying documents issued in the English alphabet. The katakana or kanji versions will still need to be registered, with the English spelling an optional extra that can be added as supplementary information. This will only apply to foreign individuals and not to foreign corporations.

Foreign corporations will have to indicate the country of registration

The property registration will now indicate the country in which the foreign company is incorporated. This will require the buyer to submit additional documents verifying the address where the company is registered.


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