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There are approximately 3000 children born in Japan each year that are bureaucratically, administratively and legally invisible. Many of these invisible children grow up to be invisible adults and spend their lives on the periphery of Japanese society, unable to participate as full citizens. Referred to as mukosekisha, the ‘unregistered’ are not recorded on the household registry.

Household registration is the definitive mechanism by which legal status as a Japanese national is determined. It also mediates individual legal status through the family unit.

For the unregistered, there is no established link between the individual and the state and no legal connection to family members. As a result, they have no or limited access to services such as education, welfare and insurance. Medical care is severely compromised. The ability to obtain a driver’s licence, a passport and the right to vote and to own or rent property becomes difficult, if not impossible. Read more

There are approximately 3000 children born in Japan each year that are bureaucratically, administratively and legally invisible. Many of these invisible children grow up to be invisible adults and spend their lives on the periphery of Japanese society, unable to participate as full citizens. Referred to as mukosekisha, the ‘unregistered’ are not recorded on the household registry.

Household registration is the definitive mechanism by which legal status as a Japanese national is determined. It also mediates individual legal status through the family unit.

For the unregistered, there is no established link between the individual and the state and no legal connection to family members. As a result, they have no or limited access to services such as education, welfare and insurance. Medical care is severely compromised. The ability to obtain a driver’s licence, a passport and the right to vote and to own or rent property becomes difficult, if not impossible.

There are approximately 3000 children born in Japan each year that are bureaucratically, administratively and legally invisible. Many of these invisible children grow up to be invisible adults and spend their lives on the periphery of Japanese society, unable to participate as full citizens. Referred to as mukosekisha, the ‘unregistered’ are not recorded on the household registry.

Household registration is the definitive mechanism by which legal status as a Japanese national is determined. It also mediates individual legal status through the family unit.

For the unregistered, there is no established link between the individual and the state and no legal connection to family members. As a result, they have no or limited access to services such as education, welfare and insurance. Medical care is severely compromised. The ability to obtain a driver’s licence, a passport and the right to vote and to own or rent property becomes difficult, if not impossible.