Bilateral Relations


Our Jurisdiction

Embassy / Consulates in the U.S.

Embassy of Japan

Consulate-General / Consular Office of Japan

World War II Artifacts

The Government of Japan, with the recognition that World War II Artifacts would be most appreciated by the original bearer or surviving kin of them, is promoting return of those artifacts. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan, in this connection, will attempt to locate the original bearer of a WWII artifact or surviving kin of the original bearer provided the party requesting the investigation agrees to tender the item to Embassy or Consulate General of Japan without demand for compensation, if and when the search is successfully completed. Putting up WWII artifacts with names of war dead for internet auction would offend feelings of war bereaved and your cooperation will be much appreciated.

The procedure for the return of such artifacts is as follows:
1. Email, mail, or fax the completed REQUEST FORM to Consulate General of Japan in Denver along with photos or photocopies of the artifact. Any identifying markings should be enlarged and clearly legible. Complete details, including how and where the item was recovered, are crucial to the success of the investigation and should therefore be described in full on the REQUEST FORM. In the absence of inscriptions indicating the name and address of the original bearer of the artifact or aforementioned details, reaching a conclusive outcome will be highly unlikely. Please be advised that all photos and photocopies of the artifact(s) cannot be returned.


Mailing Address:
Consulate-General of Japan at Denver
1225 17th Street, Suite 3000
Denver Colorado 80202, U.S.A


2. The materials will be forwarded to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for investigation. Investigation typically take several months, but in some cases may take a year or more to complete.

3. You will be notified as soon as the investigation is conclusive. You will then be asked to send or bring the artifact(s) to Consulate General of Japan in Denver. Consulate General of Japan in Denver will only receive the actual items at this stage of the process and only if the item has been traced back to its origin. Due to rigid legal codes, military swords must be sent directly from the individual requesting the investigation to the original bearer of the artifact or their surviving kin.

4. Consulate General of Japan in Denver can only accept requests from individuals residing within its jurisdiction, which includes Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico. Those residing in other areas are asked to contact their regional Consulate office (

Should you have any further questions, please contact Consulate General of Japan in Denver by phone or email.

Request for Investigation of Lost Articles: WORD, PDF


Japan-United States of America Relations