According to government records, Fujimori was born on 28 July 1938, in Miraflores, a district of Lima. His parents, Naoichi Fujimori (original surname Minami, adopted by a childless relative; 1897–1971) and Mutsue Inomoto Fujimori (1913–2009), were natives of Kumamoto, Japan, who migrated to Peru in 1934.
In July 1997, the news magazine Caretas alleged that Fujimori had actually been born in Japan, in his father's hometown of Kawachi, Kumamoto Prefecture. Because Peru's constitution requires the president to have been born in Peru, this would have made Fujimori ineligible to be president. The magazine, which had been sued for libel by Vladimiro Montesinos seven years earlier, reported that Fujimori's birth and baptismal certificates might have been altered. Caretas also alleged that Fujimori's mother declared having two children when she entered Peru; Fujimori is the second of four children. Caretas' contentions were hotly contested in the Peruvian media; the magazine Sí, for instance, described the allegations as "pathetic" and "a dark page for [Peruvian] journalism". Latin American scholars Cynthia McClintock and Fabián Vallas note that the issue appeared to have died down among Peruvians after the Japanese government announced in 2000 that "Fujimori's parents had registered his birth in the Japanese consulate in Lima".