Unidentifiable man gets family register

Family court invokes jus soli principle as grounds

By William Wetherall

First posted 1 June 2014
Last updated 21 June 2014


Overview Origins | Ruling | Chronology | Quality of opinion | Sources, presentation, commentary
Main judgment Particulars | Findings | Summary | Relevant laws | Main text


Overview of 1988 jus soli ruling

All people lose parts of their memories at one time or another. But some people lose large parts of some areas of their memory and little of other areas.

On 2 November 1984, apparently in Ibaraki prefecture, police took into custody a man they found on the coast who carried no identification papers and could not remember who he was, and the following day he was hospitalized for observation.

The man couldn't recall the names of his parents or siblings, where he was raised, or the schools he attended, but he remembered numerous political and other events, some of which he was able to relate to specific times in his life. His dialect resembled that of people in Gunma and Saitama prefectures, but his extensive knowledge of other places in Japan implied that he had widely traveled within the country.

However, the man's identity -- his name and other particulars that might have been linked with an existing family register -- remained a mystery. In the meantime, authorities concluded that he could be released from the hospital, and he wanted to work and support himself.

But if released, he would need a legal identity and status. So in 1987, the man petitioned the Mito Family Court for permission to establish a family register, which would make him a national of Japan. And on 2 October 1988, the court approved granted such permission, and gave him a domicile register address, a name, and a date of birth. The names of his parents remained unknown, but the court determined that he was their son.

The man was named Shimaura Ichirō -- a fictitious name used in the judgment to protect his privacy -- and his register address was taken to be the hospital in which which he "born" so to speak. His year of birth was estimated to have been Shōwa 16 (1941), which happens to be the year I was born, and the month and day of his birth were taken to be 3 November, the day he was admitted to the hospital.

My immediate impression of this case -- before I found a copy of the judgment -- was that, for all means and purposes, the man was treated exactly as a foundling infant would have been treated under either the 1899 (old) or the 1950 (current) Nationality Law -- i.e., he was accorded the equivalent of jus soli birthright nationality.

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Origins of case

Shimaura Ichirō's case originated in the fact that he had no legal status in Japan -- and no other identity. He might have been registered somewhere in Japan as a Japanese national or alien, but his name and family history could not be established, so for all means and purposes, he was unregistered, hence didn't exist in the eyes of the law, hence had no status. Existence = registration = status.

Because the man had no status, he had no nationality -- but not in the sense of being stateless. In Japan, "stateless" (無国籍 mukokuseki) is a legal status -- the status of having neither Japanese nor an alien nationality. Japanese law defines an alien as someone who does not possess Japanese nationality, and so the man could not be "stateless" unless it was determined that he was an alien -- i.e., not Japanese -- and, moreover, an alien who did not possess the nationality of another state.

The man of course existed as a "case" (事件 jiken) the moment he was found and the police determined that he would have to be taken into custody for investigation. And he existed as a "petitioner" (申立人 mōshitatenin) [pleader, plaintiff, complainant] the moment he filed a petition with the family court for permission to establish a family register.

Until a court ruled otherwise, though, the man was simply a "person without a register" (無籍者 musekisha) -- or, if assumed that he might be Japanese, a "person without a family register" (無戸籍者 mu-koseki-sha).

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Ruling in case

The court determined that, from what the man was able to remember, and from his speech and behavior, that he was most likely born and raised in Japan, and had spent his entire life in Japan. It found no evidence that he might have come to Japan from another country, or spent any time outside Japan.

The court also determined that there was no evidence that the man was faking his amnesia. There was no evidence that he had committed a crime and was fleeing the law, or was running away from a debt or other personal circumstances.

The court recognized that the man was most likely registered somewhere, but and that double registration was not legal, but that under the circumstances it would be unavoidable.

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Chronology

The chronology of the Shimaura Ichirō's case, from the day he was found to the day the court authorized his registration as a Japanese national, is as follows.

1 November 1984

Unidentifiable, apparently amnesiac man found on coast of [presumably] Ibaraki prefecture.

3 November 1984

Man placed in secure ward of hospital for observation.

1987

Man petitions Mito Family Court for permission to establish a domicile (family) register.

27 July 1988

The family court authorized the establishment of a family register and specifies the particulars that are to be entered in the register.

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Quality of opinion

The judgment in this case is an example of how a court in Japan dealt with a case that lawmakers probably never anticipated. It shows the workings of a fine legal imagination, of a judicial mind that capable of arguing within the framework of a statute -- the Nationality Law -- to arrive at a decision that would probably have been made under customary law before the statute existed.

The logic was simple and clear -- a person found in Japan, who whose no signs of having lived anywhere else but in Japan, must be Japanese. The argument made no reference to the man's physical or "racial" features. It depended on what might be called "ethnic" features -- but "ethnic" only in the sense of language and customs, which anyone -- regardless of their biological origins -- would exhibit if they had lived in the country as long as the man had.

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Sources, presentation, and commentary


Sources


Received Japanese text of ruling

The judgment was reportedly published, or possibly just summarized, in Katei saiban geppō (家庭裁判月報) [Family court monthly report], Volume 41, Number 4, on or from page 82. Lacking access to expensive on-line Lexis-Nexis services, I could have spent a day of my dwindling life, and train fare and copy fees, to drag the relevant issue of the bulletin out the National Diet Library. However, I stumbled across an electronic copy of the ruling on the website of 三木秀夫法律事務所 (Miki Hideo Hōritsu Jimusho) [Miki Hideo Law Office] in Osaka, in a mail-magazine feature which reviews the workings of Japanese law by examining cases reported in the news.

The relevant mail-magazine post begins with a news article from the 19 May 2005 edition of the Yomiuri Shinbun, reporting the case of the so-called Piano Man, who in April that year had been found walking in a suit and tie, dripping with sea water, on a beach in Kent in the United Kingdom -- and apparently couldn't remember who he was or where he came from. The writer of the mail-magazine report, Miki if not another attorney in his office, recalls and briefly describes two other fairly recent amnesia cases in Japan, then introduces Shimaura's case, and finally shows what appears to be the entire judgment.

English translation

The English translation is my own structural translation, which I have intentionally not fully polished, preferring here to leave the "construction marks" that illuminate the phrasing and usage of the received text.

Formatting, commentary, and markup

I have divided the judgment into sections, and have somewhat reformatted the received texts and highlighted some words and phrases to facilitate analysis and commentary.

Underscoring

All underscoring in the text of the judgment is as received. Unless otherwise noted, the underscoring of corresponding parts of the received translation is mine. All underscoring in my own commentary is, of course, also mine.

Parentheses

Unless otherwise noted, all (parentheses) in the received text and translation are as received.

Square and angle brackets

All in-line [square brackets] and <angle brackets> -- and everything enclosed in such brackets -- are mine.

Structural translations and commentary

My own closer (structural) translations are generally shown in blue in cells below the received judgment and received translation. At times I have shown closer translations of words or short phrases in-line, between right and left → arrows ← following the amended text.

Editorial [clarifications] are shown in-line. Brief comments are sometimes boxed in the cells of the texts they relate to. Extended comments are generally shown in cells below the relevant texts.

Color highlighting

The received texts of the judgment and translation, and my own commentary, are shown in black. However, to facilitate commentary on the language of the ruling and/or its translation, I have highlighted specific words and phrases in various colors according to the following scheme, which includes in-line editorial clarifications and corrections.

Color Original Translation
Background highlighting
Blue Corresponding parts of two or more texts selected for comparison
Yellow Content added to received text to reconstruct a missing part
Pink Transcription or scanning errors parenthetically corrected in-line (sic = in-line)
Graphic highlighting
Blue [ Clarification ] (in-line) [ Clarification ] (in-line)
→ My closer translation ← (in-line)
My closer translation (boxed)
Green Presumed true and correct copy of the language of the original text May be too free and a bit off key but represents all elements or original
国籍法


韓国
Nationality Law
Nationality Act (unconventional)
Law / Act of Nationality (unconventional)
Korea (if "Empire of Korea" 1897-1910)
Purple Problematic phrasing or usage in the language of the original text Imprecise or awkward, incomplete or embellished, or otherwise inadequate
国籍
韓国
朝鮮
内地
Citizenship → Nationality (as legal status)
Korea → Republic of Korea (since 1948)
Korea → Chōsen (as territory 1910-1952)
Japan Proper → Interior (as territory)
Red Incorrect phrasing or usage ※ Misleading or incorrect
放棄する
離脱する
朝鮮
renounce → abandon, relinquish
renounce, separate from
Korea → Chōsen (as territory)
Cyan ※ When original is incorrect Mistranslation is more correct than original
日本と朝鮮との併合
the annexation of Korea by Japan
→ the union of Japan and Chōsen

※   The example of incorrect 朝鮮 (Chōsen) being mistranslated Korea (韓国 Kankoku), thus "accidentally" correcting the usage in the judgement, can be seen in Kanda v. State 1961.

1. While 朝鮮 (Chōsen) in the judgment is factually incorrect, the correct translation is "Chōsen" because that is what the original text says. Because the translators conflate "Chōsen" (朝鮮) with "Korea" (韓国 Kankoku), they habitually translate "Chōsen" as "Korea" -- which constitutes a "mistranslation" that in effect accidentally "corrects" the factual error in the original -- i.e., a double negative becomes a positive. But two wrongs don't make a right. Translators are not supposed to "edit" the content of legal briefs. They might flag a problematic expression for comment in a footnote, but the translation itself should be faithful to the original.

2. Note that where the judgment precisely paraphrases the phrasal logic of the expression "Nik-Kan heigō" (日韓併合) [Japan-Korea union] as "X to Y to no heigō" (XとYとの併合) [the union between X and Y], the received translation incorrectly represents the syntactic logic of the paraphrase as "the annexation of Y by X" -- which constitutes an interpretation of the effects of the union, not its formal description in Japanese law -- which I underscore, because the court is making a legal, not political, argument. Historiographic "opinion" external to received text of the original judgment, and its attempt to deal with the letter and operation of Japanese law is irrelevant. A translator might say that the past is past. Treaties, laws, and ordinances of the past -- though no longer enforced -- may continue to have effect in court reviews of what I call "legacy" cases, which involve status actions in the past.

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1988 Mito Family Court ruling on petition for
permission to establish family register

Japanese text, English translation, and commentary
就籍許可申立事件
Case of petition for permission to establish family register
水戸家庭裁判所

昭和62年(家)第687号

昭和63年10月7日

審判
Mito Family Court

Shōwa 62 [1987] (Ka) 687

Shōwa 63-10-07 [7 October 1988]

Ruling
出典件
Source
家庭裁判月報
41巻4号82頁
(人名は仮名)
Family court monthly report
Volume 41, Number 4, pages 82
(Names fictitious)

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主文 Main text of the judgment
Received Japanese text Structural English translation

申立人が次のとおり就籍することを許可する。

本籍 ○○県○○○郡○○村
大字○○×××番地
氏名 島浦一郎
出生年月日 昭和16年11月3日
父母の氏名 不詳
父母との続柄

[This court] permits the petitioner to establish a register as follows.

Domicle register address AA-prefecture, BBB-county, CC-village
Large-section-DD, 123-banchi
Name Shimaura Ichirō
Y-M-D of birth 3 November 1941
Names of parents Unknown
Relation to parents Son

Family register particulars

Honseki (本籍) refers to the principal register or "principal domicile address" of the registrant in the municipality which has jurisdiction over the locality (land, territory) of the address, and over the register itself. The registrant is thus most essentially affiliated with the municipal polity. The registrant is in turn affiliated with the prefecture which has jurisdiction over the municipality, and with Japan because the prefecture, and the municipal polities within the prefecture, are parts of Japan's sovereign dominion. In other words, the registrant is Japanese on account of being affiliated with Japanese territory, and because the register represents affiliation with part of the state, it represents possession of the state's nationality. And the state's demographic "nation" is the aggregate of all people who are members of the state's territorial registers.


               AA-ken BB-gun CC-mura Ooaza-CD ###-banchi
  Shimei               Shimaura Ichirou
  Shussei nengappi     Shouwa 16-nen 11-gatsu 3-nichi
  Fubo no shimei       Fusei
  Fubo to no zokugara 

A child is related to a parent as a "son" (男 nan) or "daughter" (女 jo). Birth order is indicated by "1st" (長 chō), "2nd" (次 ji), "3rd" (三 san), "4th" (四 yon), et cetera.

"Shimaura Ichirō" is a fictitious name. "Shimaura" -- literally "behind the island" -- is not particularly common family name. I suspect its use here is playful.

The specific names of the nested administrative areas -- prefecture, county, village, larger section -- and the number of the lot or the group of lots within the section -- have been represented by "○" for Sinific graphs or kana and "×" for numbers. Court decisions are not in principle public documents, and decisions -- published for the benefit of legalists and officials who administer and enforce matters of law -- commonly omit personal particulars.

The form of address shown in the 1988 decision is decidedly "rural". A "town" (町) -- but not a "city" (市 shi) -- would also be within a "county" but be less likely to have a "section" (字 aza) component before the "area" number (番地 banchi). A city would probably have the name of an area of the city followed by the number of a neighborhood (丁目 chōme) within the area, before the local area (番地 banchi) number.

Note that domicile register addresses are not actual residence addresses, which usually include one, two, and sometimes more other numbers, the last of which will specify a particular "house" or "apartment" or even "room" number. Moreover, the person in the register may not actually reside within, or even near, the area designated as the domicile address, but may live and be registered as a resident elsewhere in the municipality, or in another municipality, possibly a city, town, or village in another prefecture.

Residence registers or "rolls" (住民票 jūminhyō) -- which differ from domicile or family registers -- establish a person's existence as a legal resident of a municipality of Japan. Hence aliens permitted to reside in Japan also need and have resident addresses -- formerly in the form of "alien registration" -- but since 9 July 2012 in the form of "residence registration" along with Japanese nationals. Aliens do not, however, have domicile or family registers in Japan. The "domicile register" of an alien is taken to he his or her country of nationality. Because stateless aliens have no domicile, they will usually write 無国籍 (mukokuseki) or "Stateless" in the 本籍 boxes on Japanese forms, where Chinese aliens would write 中国 (Chūgoku) or "China" or "PRC".

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理由 Reasons

第1   申立の趣旨及び理由

申立人は,昭和59年11月2日夜○○県○○○市○○○○海岸において記憶喪失状態で発見され,翌3日から同県○○○郡○○村大字○○×××番地医療法人○○○○○○病院(以下,「○○○病院」という。)に収容されたが,3年を経過した現在に至るも自己の全生活史についての記憶を回復せず,このまま,○○○市の世話になり続けて年老いて行くのに耐えられず,社会復帰して人間らしい生活を送りたいので,主文掲記の就籍事項で就籍することを許可する旨の審判を求める。

1st   Purport of and reason for petition

[The] petitioner was discovered in a state of memory loss on the ○○○○ coast of ○○○ city of ○○ prefecture on the night of 2 November 1984, and since the following 3rd day [he] has been confined to the ○○○○○○ Hospital (Hereafter ○○○ Hospital.), an incorporated medical [treatement] institution at 同県××× Banchi in Ūaza ○○ of ○○ village of ○○○ county in the same prefecture, but up to the present during which 3 years have passed [he] has not recovered [his] memory regarding the entire history of [his] life, and unable to bear getting old age while continuing to receive the help of ○○○ city, and wanting to return to society and lead a human-like life, [he] seeks a decision to the effect of permitting the extablishment of a [family] register with the establish-of-register particulars cited in the main text [of this petition].

第2   当裁判所の判断


1 認定事実

本件記録によれば,以下の各事実が認められる。

(1)昭和59年11月2日午後6時30分ころ,○○県○○○市○○○○海岸の岸辺から50メートル位の海中に,腰まで海水に浸かって佇立している男を通りすがりのアベックが発見して警察に連絡し,男は午後8時ころ警察に保護された(申立人は,〈波打際でずぶ漏れになっている状態で気がつき,どうしてそのような所にいるのか分からないまま,遠方に人家の灯らしい光を認めてその方に歩き出したところ,後方から来た男女に声をかけられた〉と申述しており,発見時の状況に若干の食い違いが見られるが,これは,通行人が申立人を発見した時点と申立人が意識を回復した時点とのずれによるものと解される。)。警察からの連絡により,○○○福祉事務所が男を引き取ったが,住所・氏名も分からず,記憶喪失状態であると認められたため,翌3日午前10時15分福祉事務所員は,警察官同道のうえ,男を○○○病院に連れて行き,緊急入院させた。

(2)男は,ベージュのワイシャツ,ワインレッドのセーター,ベージュのジャンパー,えんじのフード付きヤッケ,紺のジーンズという服装で,ALBAのデジタル腕時計,黒の革靴を身につけていたが,所持金はなかった。なお,○○○警察署防犯係長によれば,男の左腕の手首から10センチメートル位上部に長さ3センチメートルの切創が認められ,自殺するための創傷と思われたという。申立人によれば,〈保護された直後警察官にいろいろと聞かれたが,頭の中にあったのは強い赤い閃光と砂山だけで,言葉の言味もよく分からなかった。翌日病院に行ってからは,言葉の言味は分かったが,自分が何者か思い出せなかった〉という。

(3)○○○病院では,男を2年間は閉鎖病棟に入れ,3年目からは開放病棟に移した。農作業や園芸などの作業療法を行っているが,器用で何でも上手にやる。他人とのコミュニケーションはよく,読書好きである。酒は好きなようであるが,病院の規則に従い,飲酒しない。健康状態は良好で,知能は普通域である。社会一般の過去の出来事については結構知っているが,自分に関する過去は分からない。地図や道路事情については非常に詳しい。言葉に訛りはあまりないが,群馬県か埼玉県の人の話し方に似ていると思われる。年令は55-6歳位ではないかは思われる。○○○署で指紋照会をしたが,該当者は発見出来なかった。同署では,県内各警察署に申立人の人相・着衣を記入した書面を配布し,○○県警察本部からも,全国の都道府県警察本部に申立人の写真を電送して手配したが,該当者発見の報告はない。

(4)申立人の陳述によれば,〈親兄弟のこと,育った場所,学校の名前など,全く思い出せない。幼少時のことで思い出せるのは,祖母がいて,大変躾に厳しかったことである。空襲のことは覚えていないが,B-29は知っている。高いところを一機飛んでいた。小学校に上がるか上がらないころ,朝鮮動乱があり,くず鉄を拾って年長の者に売ってもらい,菓子を買い食いしたのを祖母に見つかり,ひどく叱られたのを覚えている。小学校の近くに木のアーチの橋のかかった川があり,遠くに山が見えた。20歳のころ,人工透析を受けていた結婚相手の女性が死亡した。そのため,私はまだ結婚していないものと思う〉という(これに対し,○○○病院におけるアミタール・インタビューの結果によれば,申立人は,家庭の不和で家出した意味のことをいい,妻と娘の名前を挙げて激しい憎悪感情を示し,殺してやるなどと述べたという。)。また,申立人によれば,〈登山・渓流釣り・潜水が好きで,経験がある。音楽は,ポップスが好きで,カーペンターやブラザース・フォーをよく聴いた。中学生になったかならないころ,ぺレス・プラードが来日したのを覚えている。○○○病院のカラオケ大会では,前から知っていた「ガラスのジョニー」を歌って2位,「赤と黒のブルース」,「中の島ブルース」で1位になった。以前は大学・高校の入試問題が解けたと思うが,問題集を見ても解けなかった〉という。〈横文字はある程度分かるかもしれない〉というので,英語の本を読ませたところ,〈英語だと思うが,犬が星を見ているようなものである〉と答えた。

(5)申立人は,自動車運転の専門的知識があり,日本国内の地理・観光地の知識に非常に詳しく,観光バス運転手をしていたことが推測されるので,関東近県(茨城・千葉・埼玉・東京)の公営・私営のバス会社等に申立人発見当時の状況を記載した書面を送付して身元確認調査を行ったが,該当者を発見するに至らなかった。


2 就籍要件

就籍は,本来本籍を有すべき者,換言すれば,日本人であって,いまだ戸籍に記載されていない者について認められる。そこで,申立人について,これらの点を検討する。

(1)申立人については,その父母を知ることができないから,父母の国籍から申立人の国籍を明らかにすることはできない(旧国籍法--明治32年法律第66号-1条ないし3条参照)。

そこで,申立人の場合が旧国籍法4条に定める「日本ニ於テ生マレタル子ノ父母力共ニ知レサルトキ」に当たるかどうかについて検討すると,申立人が日本国内で生まれたことの直接証拠はない。しかし,申立人が日本国外で生まれ,その後本邦に入国したものであることを窮わせる証拠も皆無である。そして,上記のような申立人の申述する断片的な記憶によれば,申立人が幼少のころから日本国内で成育したことが明らかであり,これと申立人の言語,風貌,日本国内の社会現象・地理等に関する知識その他諸般の事情を総合すれば,申立人は日本国内で生まれたものと認めるのが合理的かつ自然である。したがって,申立人は,旧国籍法4条により,日本国民であると認められる。

(2)つぎに,申立人がいまだ戸籍に記載されていないかどうかの点であるが,申立人が日本国内で生まれた者と認められる以上,その推定年令,記憶している限りの成育歴など諸般の事情に照らしてみても,申立人がこれまで一度も就籍したことがないものとは考え難い。しかし,上記のような事情で,申立人の本籍の有無を知ることができないので,このような場合には就籍は許されるものと解すべきである(上記認定事実からすれば,申立人が家族との不和から家出し,自殺を企てて果たさなかったものとの疑いがないではないが,それ以上に,申立人において,他の犯罪ないし前科を隠蔽するため,殊更に本籍を秘匿し,就籍を申し立てたものと疑うべき資料はない。)。

(3)以上のとおり,申立人については,その就籍を許可するのが相当であるから,進んでその就籍事項につき次項で検討する。


3 就籍事項

(1)本籍

申立人の希望するとおり,現に申立人の居住する○○○病院の所在地である「○○県○○○郡○○村大字○○×××番地」とするのが相当である。

(2)氏名

申立人の希望するとおり,現に申立人の仮の氏名として通称している「島浦一郎」とするのが相当である。

(3)出生年月日

申立人の出生年月日を知る手掛かりは,きわめて僅少である。申立人は,〈昭和16年ないし18年生まれの人と話が合うので,その辺の年齢と思う。えとは覚えていない。50歳過ぎという人もいるが,自分では45歳から48歳まで位の間と思う。出生年月日は,昭和16年11月3日でよい〉と申述している。○○○病院では,申立人の年齢を55-6歳位と見ており,申立人がB-29の飛来(遅くとも昭和20年8月以前)を記憶していることと併せて考えると,申立人の生まれたのは昭和10年より前ではないかとも思われる。他方,朝鮮動乱時(昭和25年6月ないし28年7月)に小学校入学前後であったとの申述からすれば,昭和20年前後の生まれということになり,決め手に欠ける。要するに,申立人の生まれた年を客観的に確定することはできないのであって,そうだとすれば,申立人の申述する昭和16年が誤りであるとして排斥すべき根拠もないこととなるから,特段の事情のないかぎり,申立人の申述するとおりに認定するのが相当である。

次ぎに,申立人の誕生日については,これを知る手掛かりは皆無といってよい。申立人の申述する「11月3日」は,同人が○○○病院に収容された日であるという以外に特段の意味を有しない。したがって,申立人の出生年月日を「昭和16年以下不詳」とすることも考えられないではない。しかし,社会生活上満年齢を月日まで正確に算定する必要のある場合もしばしば有りうるから,できるかぎり出生の月日まで特定しておくことが申立人の今後の社会生活に利便であること,申立人の出生の月日を11月3日と特定することによって,戸籍上その他の行政面で,あるいは申立人の公的・私的生活面で,特段の不都合を生じるものとは考えられないことを併せ考慮し,申立人の申述するとおりに認定するのが相当である。そこで,申立人の出生年月田よ [sic = 日は,「昭和16年11月3日」と認定する。

(4)父母の氏名

上記のような事情で,これを知ることができない。

(5)父母との続柄

(4)に同じ。

2nd   This courts decision


1. Recognized facts

In accordance with this case's records, the following facts are recognized.

(1)About 6:30 p.m. on 2 November 1984, a couple passing bay discovered a man standing still immersed in sea water to the waist, in the sea about 50 meters from the shore of the ○○○○ coast of ○○○ city of ○○ prefecture and contacted the police, and the man was taken into protective custody by the police at about 8 p.m. (The petitioner rekated, "I realized I was in a condition of being drenched at the water's edge [breakwater], and not understanding how I had come to be in such a place, having recognized the light of what seemed to be the lamp of person's home in the distance I was about to start walking toward it, when I was called by the voices of the man and woman who had come from behind", and a few discrepancies are seen in the conditions at the time of discovery, but these are understood to be things that are due to a gap between the point in time when the passersby discovered the petitioner and the point in time when the petitioner recovered consciousness.). According to the contact from the police, the ○○○ Welfare Office took [custody of] the man, and because it was recognized that [he], understanding neither [his] address or name, was in a memory-loss [amnesiac] condition, at 10:15 a.m. on the following 3rd day a welfare office staffer, together with a police officer, accompanied the man to ○○○ Hospital, and had [him] admitted on an emergency [basis].

(2) The man was wearing clothing [consisting of] a beige shirt, a wine red sweater, a beige jumper, a dark red hooded parker, and blue jeans, and an ALBA digital wristwatch, and black shoes, but [he] had no money on [him]. According to the head of the crime prevention section of the police department, a 3 cm incision 10 cm from the wrist on the man's left arm was recognized, and it was thought to be a wound [from an attempt to] commit suicide. According to the petiioner, "Immediately after I was taken into protective custody I was asked various thing by the police, in my head was only strong red flashes and sand dunes, and I didn't understand the meanings of the words well. After going to the hospital the next day, I understand the words, but I couldn't recall who myself [I] was."

(3) At ○○○ Hospital, the man was put in a locked ward for two years, but from the third year was moved to an open ward. [The hospital] carried out work therapy with agricultural work and gardening [horticulture], and [the man] is dexterious and does everything skilfully. [His] communication with others is good, and [he] likes reading books. He seems to like alcohol, but in accordance with hospital regulations, [he] doesn't drink. [His] health condition is very good, [his] intelligence of ordinary range. Regarding past events of society in general [he] knows quite a bit, but doesn't understand the past concerning oneself [himself]. Regarding maps and road conditions [he] is extremely familiar. He doesn't have much of an accent, but [his speech] is thought to resemble the manner of speaking of a person of Gunma prefecture of Saitama prefecture person. Is he not about 55-56 years old in age? is is thought [It is thought that he is probably 55-55 years old]. The ○○○ Station did a fingerprint inquery, but could find no one who fit [his prints]. The same station, distributed to each police station in the prefecture documents which recorded the petitioner's features and clothing, and from ○○ Prefecture Police Headquarters also, [police] arranged the transmission of photographs of the petitioner to prefectural police headquarters in the entire country, but there have been no reports of discovery of a person fitting [his description].

(4) According to the statements of the petitioner, "I can't at all recall [the names of] my parents or brothers, or [the name of] the place where I was raised, or the names of my schools. What I remember of my youthful times [childhood], is there was a grandmother, she was very strict in her discipline. I don't remember the air raids, but I know [about] B-29s. One was flying at a high place. I remember when I had started elementary school or [maybe] not [yet] started elementary school, there was the Chōsen upheaval [1950], and I collected scrap iron and had an older person [student] sell it [for me], I was found out by my grandmother to be buying and eating sweets, and was severely scolded. Near the elementary school there was a river with a wooden arch bridge, and mountains could be seen in the distance. When I was 20, the woman who was my partner in marriage received artificial dialysis and died. For that reason I think I haven't yet [re?] married" (Regarding this, according to the results of an amytal interview at ○○○ Hospital, the petioner, spoke of the sense of leaving home from disharmony in the family [domestic discord], and indicated [showed] strong ill feelings giving [citing] the name of [his] wife and daughter, and said things like I'll kill you.). Also, according to the petitioner, "I like, and have experiences, mountain climbing and fishing in [mountain] rapids. As for music, I like pops, and often listened to The Carpenters and The Brothers Four. I remember that about the time I was in middle school, Perez Prado came to Japan [1956]. At a karaoke get together at ○○○ Hospital, I came in 2nd place singing "Garasu no Jonii" [Johnny Glass] [1961 I. George song], which I had known from before, and came in 1st with "Aka to kuro no buruusu" [Red and black blues] [1955 Tsurta Kōji] and "Nakanoshima buruusu" [Nakanoshima blues] [mid 1970s]. I think I was able to solve university and high school entrance exam problems before, but even looking at a problem collection [workbook] I couldn't solve them [now]." Becuase [he] said "I may understand horizontal writing to some extent," where [he] was had to read a book in English, [he] replied, "I think it's English, but [to this book I'm] like a dog looking at the stars."

(5) The petitioner has specialized knowledge of automogile driving, and is extremely familiar with knowledge of the geography and tourist places within Japan, and because that [he] had driven a tourist bus is surmised, [the police] sent documents to public and private bus companies et cetera in the Kanto-proximity prefectures (Ibaraki, Chiba, Saitama, Tōkyō) recording the conditions at the time of the petitioner's discovery, but it didn't lead to a discovery of the person fitting [the description].


2. [Family register] establishment conditions

Establishing a [family] register] -- regarding [in the case of] a person who essentially [oridinarly] should [ought to, is expected to] possess a principle [primary] [domicile] register [of Japan], in other words, a person who is a Japan person [Japanese], who has not yet been recorded in a family [of Japan] -- is recognized. Thereupon [This being the case, So, Now] [this court will] consider these points regarding the peitioner.

(1) Regarding the petitioner, because [his] father and mother cannot be known, the petitioner's nationality cannot be clarified from the nationality of [his] father or mother (Confer Old Nationality Law, Law No. 66 of 1899, Article 1 through Article 3).

Thereupon, when examining reagarding whether or not the case of the petitioner touches upon [corresponds to] "When the father and the mother of a child who was born in Japan are together unknown" as determined in Article 4 of the Old Nationality Law, there is no direct evidence that the petitioner was born within Japan. However, and neither is there any evidence that [suggests] that the petitioner was born outside Japan, or had after that [birth outside Japan] entered this country. And, according to the above sort of fragmentary memory the petitioner related , that the petition grew up within Japan from the time of [his] childhood is clear, and when combining with this the petitioner's language, appearance, knowledge concerning social phenomena and geography and so forth within Japan, and other various circumstances, recogniting that the petitioner is someone who was born within Japan is reasonable and natural. Accordingly, the petitioner, persuant to Article 4 of the Old Nationality Law, is recocognized [by this court] as being Japan National.

(2) Next, is the point as to whether or not the petitioner has ever been recorded in a family register, but from the petitioner having been recognized as a person who was born with in Japan, in the light of [his] estimated age, his history of upbringing to the limit [he] remembers, and other various circumstances, the petitioner that he has never until now even once had a register established is difficult to consider. Howeever, in the above sort of circumstance, because the existence of the petitioner's principle [domicile] register cannot be known, in this sort of case the establishment of a register ought to be understood as something that can be permitted (From the above recognized facts, there is no doubt that the petitioner left [his] home from discord with [his] family, and attempted suicide but did not succeed, but above [beyond] this, there are no materials that would [cause one to] doubt [that perhaps] the petitioner is someone who -- in order to hide other crimes or a previous conviction -- is deliberately concealing [his] principle [domicile] register, and petitioning for an establishment of [new] register.).

(3) As [stated above] above, regarding the petitioner, because permitting [the municipal registrar] to establish [his] register is appropriate, [this court] will [next] examine the particulars for establishing [his] register with the following items.


3 Particulars for establishing register

(1) Honseki [principle (domicile) register]

As the petitioner wishes, making [the honsekichi or "principle register address"] ○○ prefecture, ○○○ county, ○○ village, OŌaza ○○ ××× banchi" -- which is the location of ○○○ Hospital where the petitioner is presently residing -- is appropriate.

(2) Name ["family name (uji) and personal name (na)"]

As the petitioner wishes, making [his name] "Shiamura Ichirō" -- which is the name the petitioner has been going by as a provisional name -- is appropriate.

(3) Date of birth ["Year-month-day of birth"]

As for clues by which to know the petitioner's date of birth, they are extremely few. As for the petitioner, [he] states that "[My] talking fits [agrees with] people of from 1941-1943 birth, so [I] think [I] am an age of that vicinity. [I] don't remember [my] zodiac year ["eto" = "1 of 12 animals constituting the 12 earthly branches which, together with the 10 heavenly stems, define the sexagenary cycle"]. Some people think [I] am over 50, but myself [I] think [I] am between from around 45 to 48 years old." When considering together that, at ○○○ Hospital, [people] see the petitioner as about 55-56 years old, and [he] remembers the coming of B-29s (at the latest before August 1945), it also thought that wasn't the petitioner born before the 1935? On the other hand, if regarded from [his] statement that at the time of the Korea disturbance (from June 1950 to July 1953) he was in elementary school, it would come to be [follow] that he was born around the 1945. [This court] lacks a determining factor. Therefore, because obectively confirming the year in which the petitioner was born cannot be done, if saying that's so, since there are no grounds [for arguing] that the year 1941 which the petitioner states, is to be excluded [rejected] as being incorrect, as long as there are no special circumstances, acknowledging [that the petitioner's year of birth] is as the petitioner states is appropriate.

REVISE

Next, regarding the petitioners birthday, as for clues to knowing this, it is okay to say there are none whatever. The "3 November" which the petitioner states, has no special meaning other than that it is the day on which the same person was confined to ○○○ Hospital. Consequently, regardint the petitioner's date of birth as being "1941 the rest unknown" is not inconsiderable. However, because now and then it may be necessary to accurately compute the full age in years of social life to the month and day, as far as possible specifying [his] birth to the month and day will be convenient to the social life hereafter of the petitioner -- and in accordance with specifying the petitioner's birth as 3 November, from the aspect of the family register and other adminsitrative aspects, or from aspects of the petitioner's public and private life, considering in conjunction with the fact that engendering special inconveniences cannot be considered, acknowledging [the petitioner's birthday] as the petitioner states is appropriate. Thereupon, a for the petitioner's year, month, and day of birth, [this court] acknowledges [it] to be "3 November 1941".

(4) Father's and Mother's names

Under the above stated conditions, knowing this [the petitioner's father's and mothers names] is not possible.

(5) Relationship to father and mother

The same as (4).

第3   結語

よって,主文のとおり審判する。

(家事審判官 半谷恭一)

3rd   Conclusion

Therefore, [this court] rules as [stated] in the main ruling.

(Family court justice  : Han'ya Kyōichi)

Han'ya Kyōichi

Han'ya Kyōichi (半谷恭一 1932-2011), better known as the judge who issued the first decision against former prime minister Tanaka Kakuei in the Lockheed scandal in 1983. again made the news when he was found dead in his home in 2011. An autopsy concluded that he'd been strangled. His wife denied killing him, said he'd been sick, but later confessed. Both, it turned out, had been suffering from dementia.

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