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Dual nationals feel cast adrift in Japan

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By Oceane Cornevin

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Don't like it, move somewhere else.

nah my children will declare their Japanese citizenship since they were born Japanese, and theyll be keeping their foreign nationality as well, the J gov can take them to court and the other 900,000 dual citizen living in Japan, good luck, if single nationalities dont like it , live with it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rules are rules, I have no sympathies for dual nationals.

Or understanding of the rules.

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Rules are rules, I have no sympathies for dual nationals.

Pick one and be loyal to your country.

Don't like it, move somewhere else.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

She rightfully holds a swiss passport but why should she expect to have a right to a Japanese one?

Your whole post is a jumble of ideas - can't really tell what it is you're trying to argue.

In addition to that, you seem to have completely misunderstood Shiraishi's case. She did in fact have Japanese nationality, so the question of why she should expect to have such a right is odd - she used to have exactly that right.

She acquired Swiss nationality at the age of 16. This is what Japan's nationality law says:

"A Japanese national having a foreign nationality shall choose either of the nationalities before he or she reaches twenty two years of age if he or she has acquired both nationalities on and before the day when he or she reaches twenty years of age or, within two years after the day when he or she acquired the second nationality if he or she acquired such nationality after the day when he or she reached twenty years of age."

The next section explains how this can be done.

"Choice of Japanese nationality shall be made either by depriving himself or herself of the foreign nationality or by the declaration provided for in the Family Registration Law in which he or she swears that he or she chooses to be a Japanese national and that he or she renounces the foreign nationality (hereinafter referred to as “declaration of choice”)."

The problem for her is that she almost certainly gave up her Japanese nationality voluntarily. She was unlucky in various ways, not least in having a lawyer father who got involved in her business and assumed illegality where it didn't exist. She's paying the price for him thinking he was playing by the book, and for his lack of due diligence. She didn't understand her rights as a Japanese national, and by renouncing, she gave up the most powerful weapon she had.

Worse, she appears still not to understand what happened, and talks as if she was stripped of her nationality, when in reality she volunteered to dump it. She threw away in a few minutes something she's going to spend years fighting to get back (and won't).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Case closed?

No.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

She was born and raised in Switzerland

Case closed?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It is probably because Citizens of Japan in the past were all Japanese nationality compare with many other countries like say Canada, USA and most of Europe where citizenship and nationality are often two different things. To modernize its immigration and citizenship policy Japan should separate the two, Anyone that lives in Japan or was born in Japan after certain time and conditions are met should be a Citizen and have a right to a passport and all rights and obligation provided by law. The nationality is a genetic issue and one can't become Japanese or stop being Japanese because of change of Citizenship or place of living. Native people of Hokkaido are Japanese citizens but they do not see themselves as Japanese. In Canada everyone is something besides being a Canadian citizen, in reality here we all feel very Canadian while having a lesser attachment to a second thing, a national origine. Yuki Shiraishi was born and raised in switzerland and she is swiss by culture, so I see no reason that she should expect anything from Japan simply because of her genetics. She rightfully holds a swiss passport but why should she expect to have a right to a Japanese one? All other cases mentioned are opposite in nature and merit the attention.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And unless you use your JP passport at your destination, you will not get a stamp on your passport. Now doesn't that look suspicious, coming back to Japan with no stamp?

We come back to the dual nationality question. No, it doesn't necessarily look suspicious, it looks as if you may have dual nationality. That's why immigration officers sometimes ask if you have another passport, and sometimes ask to see it.

Incidentally, not having stamps in your passport is increasingly common: the passport I've had for the last few years contained (until several months ago) only Japan entry and exit stamps. That didn't bother Japanese immigration officials in the slightest. They never even mentioned it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just use your JP passport when going in and out of Japan.

And unless you use your JP passport at your destination, you will not get a stamp on your passport. Now doesn't that look suspicious, coming back to Japan with no stamp?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 Pick a nationality. Entitlement at its finest.

thats just it they're entitled to it by their parents birthright, its basic human rights to be labeled a mixed race and or nationality person if your born that way. J government has absolute zero legal standing in forcing a Japanese born national to forfeit their second nationality. and it would be highly unlikely the J constitution would allow the J government to void Japanese born nationale their Japanese citizenship. apart from being unconstitutional itll be a human rights issue. which is precisly why they make it voluntary and dont enforce it through the courts.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Boo hoo, you have two passports and it causes you headaches. Pick a nationality. Entitlement at its finest.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow.

Here, many rude people who discriminate against Japanese people but do not recognize themselves as discriminators write contradictory opinions.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Matter of fact they'll never know if you dont let them know. Just use your JP passport when going in and out of Japan.

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Everything I have seen says the policy is "don't ask, don't tell." Don't go around screaming "Look at me. I've got dual nationality" and nothing will happen. 

I have strong doubts about whether even that's necessary. It makes it sound like "I know it's illegal, but...."

Nothing will happen because there's no punishment for something that's not breaking the law in the first place.

Perhaps you've read sources that I haven't, but I was satisfied with William Wetherall's insistence in his detailed discussion of the dual nationality issue that it is simply not illegal in Japan.

Where dual nationality is concerned, I think that not volunteering unnecessary information (assuming one prefers not to) is a reasonable approach, mainly on the grounds that it isn't other people's business. But I've never viewed it as "don't ask don't tell", or a legal "grey area". The nationality law makes some statements that don't amount to anything much; and says nothing that seems to genuinely indicate any teeth. It's all smoke and mirrors. The English version is here:

http://www.moj.go.jp/ENGLISH/information/tnl-01.html

The impression people most people seem to get is that dual nationality for adults is forbidden or "not allowed", whatever that means. I believe I've also read that it's "not recognized" but it seems very unclear what that means either. It is pretty obvious that a Japanese national is subject to Japanese law while in Japan, and cannot use a foreign nationality to evade legal responsibilities or difficulties, and will not have a right to consular assistance. The same will go for legal issues in the country of their other nationality, where they cannot expect to receive Japanese consular assistance. As far as I can tell, that's about the extent of Japan's power in not recognizing dual nationality, but that doesn't seem much different from many countries that do recognize dual nationality.

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Dirk T - the ease of renewing your J passport at a Consulate overseas depends on which one you go to. The Consulate my children renewed their J passport at for many years, were quite aware there were many half kids who most likely had dual citizenship and even gave out information in English about how to renew a Japanese passport. They never asked about another nationality and we and other families like us never declared there was one. However I have heard of other J Consulates that are very strict and when dual kids go to renew a J passport over the age of 22 they ask to see the visa or PR sticker in their J passport. Not having this could indicate of course they have dual citizenship. Nowadays when our kids visit Japan they usually enter on their non J passport being scared of being held up at the airport with questions about dual citizenship however they still keep their J passport. I do believe dual citizenship will be recognised one day by Japan and tell them just keep their citizenship until this day comes.

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mike breitenstein:

I'm assuming you're not ethnic Chinese, because I've even seen ethnic Chinese in Japan who have not been allowed to write their names in kanji, and have had it crossed out by Japanese authorities because they don't have Chinese nationality. This, might I add, would never happen in Hong Kong, even if you are not ethnic Chinese.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@wtfjapan

Indeed it is...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

trying to use kanji for their name and being rejected to do so is mind-boggling and quite off-putting. the irony is Kanji originated in China. lol

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What really stung was when her name was transformed for official purposes from the traditional kanji letters to a Western-style alphabet. 

I know it's a small thing to some, but even as a foreigner (PR) trying to use kanji for their name and being rejected to do so is mind-boggling and quite off-putting. I've even had issues with getting inkans in kanji (stamps used as signatures; another old tradition that needs to die)... My Japanese wife now has a name that's half Japanese (first name) and half Katakana (my last name) all thanks to this ludicrous law.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"I for one say Japan should keep the one nationality policy in place, I wish the US would do the same"

Im not Japanese so I really dont care about that law but when it comes to the US, I agree. So many are critical of the US, and its policies, but just use the system to their advantage. I agree, should be a one way deal like Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

According to the letter of the law, anyone who has not chosen either way within the period prescribed is required to make a decision within a month or they are stripped of their nationality.

This is not quite true.

Read Japanese nationality law.

http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/law/detail/?ft=1&re=2&dn=1&x=0&y=0&co=01&ia=03&ky=%E5%9B%BD%E7%B1%8D%E6%B3%95&page=1

Read Article 14, 15 and 16.

One has to choose one nationality at the age of 22, but there is no penalty for delaying or not choosing. Even if one does not choose, they cannot invalidate Japanese nationality. They just give periodical notice to choose one as soon as possible. If one chooses Japanese nationality, all one has to do is this;

Article 16. A Japanese citizen who makes the selection declaration shall endeavor to renounce his/her foreign nationality.

Yes, "endeavor".

The only automatic loss of Japanese nationality is written in article 11.

Article 11 (1) If a Japanese citizen acquires the nationality of a foreign country at his/her choice, he/she loses Japanese nationality.

So, born Japanese dual citizens do not really worry about losing citizenship.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

People create their own versions of reality I guess, but nothing here changes. I can walk out in the morning to take out the gomi, and I hear locks going..ka ching ka ching, I mean thats just what it is, Im a gaijin, I dont fight it or feel bad...I start laughing about it. There is an article here about Takeshi clinic shacho saying what most Japanese feel about us; so why be in denial?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Never surprises me the number of foreigners that always attack Japan for being Japan and not in line with their views.  I for one say Japan should keep the one nationality policy in place, I wish the US would do the same.  My son has both J and US nationalities/passports but I already know he has decided to keep his US side.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"here but its been open to the world a long time and its time to start being the global citizen it wants to be in the economy socially as well."

dude thats never going to happen. Being exclusionary is part of being Japanese. You have to accept these facts and endure, or change yourself. Its why I cant understand why anyone with right mind would want to be a Japanese; its just going to be an uphill struggle of denial and torment.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I want to clarify my earlier post:

"My daughter is 23, lives in Japan and has both an American and Japanese passport. She had her Japanese passport renewed at a Japanese consulate in America and the officials there were aware that she had an American passport. No one said anything because my daughter kept her mouth closed. No one is "forced" to give up one's passport and the woman in the article voluntarily turned hers in under the (bad) advice of her attorney father. I too spoke with a Japanese attorney (in America) and was told this law isn't enforced because it can't be enforced - there simply is no agency in place to do so. Don't ask, don't tell is the official policy of Japan."

I should have said my daughter renewed her Japanese passport at a Japanese consulate in America AT THE AGE OF 21, THE SUPPOSED AGE WHEN ONE HAS TO DECIDE NATIONALITY. In spite of there being pamphlets printed in both English and Japanese advising that one must choose one nationality at the consulate, no one there questioned my daughter, or even made the suggestion that she renounce one nationality or the other. Nor does she have a Japanese name. And this wasn't the first time she had to renew her Japanese passport while living in America. My advice to parents: don't worry about it. Keep your mouth shut. And don't make the mistake the woman in the article did and give up nationality.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is an area I think Japan really should do some work. Perhaps Im biased but when my children reach 21 why should they have to choose between two countries they should have equal right to live and work.

Sure, as many people say there is a gray area.. you can probably get away with it, but why should it be like that.. Japan is more than happy to claim sports people and authors when it suits them, what about all the other amazing people that have connections to multiple places.

Things change, and Japan is changing slowly, it needs globally connected people to help it maintain its economy as the population growth slows and ages, who better than people that genuinely feel a connection to Japan and another place, don't make them hide and shy away, celebrate them.

There is another aspect, which will become an issue in time, as the foreign population increases should they not have representation, for their taxation?

There mindset that is continually promoted on low rent TV, oh look at what the strange foreigner does, what do they think about Japan, can they eat natto, Im nervous to speak to a foreign person. Yes Japan is an amazing place to visit and Im happy to live, here but its been open to the world a long time and its time to start being the global citizen it wants to be in the economy socially as well.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

gogogo

Dont say anything and keep it. I know people with three passports in their 30's one passport being Japanese.

Yep.

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not only is this law antiquated, the reality I think is that they just don't know what to do or how to go about such complex judicial transaction thus offer only black or white resolution "keep it or lose it" or "with us or against us" mentality.

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*'shame and embarrassment'.......'stuck with the foreigners'*

Unwittingly says a lot.

I think that observation is spot on.

She should think of herself positively as a Japanese Swiss, given her background growing up and her official nationality. It would not mean she had betrayed her roots, in the blood / racial sense or otherwise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kurisupisuToday  06:53 pm JST

The rules issued by the Ministry of Justice have been ignored and there are precedents for their evasion.

The case of Alberto Fujimori comes to mind.Issued a Japanese passport without delay and without giving up his Peruvian nationality was given shelter in Japan-Fujimori was born in Peru.

If I recall correctly, the MOJ issued Fujimori a Japanese Passport on the grounds that ;

"A government investigation found that Fujimori was born in Peru but registered by his parents at a local Japanese Consulate, making him a Japanese citizen, a Foreign Ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Fujimori has not renounced his Japanese citizenship, said the official, who works in the ministry's Latin American division. He added that under Peruvian law, Fujimori also holds citizenship in Peru because he was born in that country."

http://articles.latimes.com/2000/dec/12/news/mn-64415

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YubaruToday  04:32 pm JST

I have read that the U.S. supreme court ruled that you must renounce your citizenship voluntarily, otherwise your US citizenship is still valid.

You have to pay a lot of cash to renounce your citizenship too!

Not to mention that the IRS maintains the right to examine your income taxes for a 20 year period, 10 years prior to renouncing US citizenship and 10 years after. Although, admittedly I've never understood the basis of the US/IRS being able to examine 10 years of a foreign national's income. Unless it's in coordination with the tax authorities of that foreign country. Which might be the case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Educator60,

Neither Yuki Shiraishi nor Hitoshi Nogawa were dual citizens at birth. They obtain Swiss nationality at age 16 (Shiraishi) and well into adulthood (Nogawa).

Fair point and I should have been clearer.

My point was this. They didn't become naturalized JAPANESE citizens. They were Japanese citizens at birth. So, when they obtained Swiss citizenship, if Switzerland did not require them to give up their Japanese citizenship, then they were both a native born Japanese citizen and a naturalized Swiss citizen.

As opposed to a situation where a foreigner in Japan becomes a naturalized Japanese citizen.

The article covers several scenarios involving dual-citizenship, but in all of the cases, it seems the individuals obtained Japanese citizenship at birth by virtue of having a Japanese parent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru

> How did they know your daughter had dual nationality?

If he is anything like me the local office will assume such with the cases of children born into households with people of different nationalities as it is a requirement for foreigners to register with their local office when moving into the municipality.

1) I've never heard, in nearly 20 years, of anyone having their children's nationality questioned by the local ward office, at any stage; when a child was born, or when someone moved. Including 2 of my own.

2) Disillusioned said immigration, not the ward office.

3) How could it have even got to that stage, unless Disillusioned had told them she did in fact have dual nationality?

4) If his daughter was 12, none of the above is even relevant, as she could still have had dual nationality legally.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They obtain —— They obtained

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zones2surf, “This is about individuals who are dual citizens at birth. Which Japan allows for children. It is a far different thing to be a Japanese citizen only and then later in life become a naturalized citizen of another country.”

Neither Yuki Shiraishi nor Hitoshi Nogawa were dual citizens at birth. They obtain Swiss nationality at age 16 (Shiraishi) and well into adulthood (Nogawa).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@tinawatanabe

Many Japanese were revoked Japanese citizenship when they acquired another nationality.

Completely different situation. That is called becoming a naturalized citizen of a country. This is about individuals who are dual citizens at birth. Which Japan allows for children. It is a far different thing to be a Japanese citizen only and then later in life become a naturalized citizen of another country.

@bullfighter,

I have been reading everything I can find on this issue since I put in for Japanese nationality nearly five years ago. I have seen no indication in either Japanese or English that there is any real enforcement effort. If you have evidence of enforcement efforts, please share this evidence here.

I did not say there was an aggressive enforcement effort. In fact, that was precisely my point. I was pointing out that when it has happened, it has usually been the result of some overly zealous (and usually a little xenophobic) immigration officer pressuring a dual citizen to give up one of their citizenships.

However, the stories exist. Sometimes it has been initiated by an immigration official at an entry point. Or at some point in relation to any number of triggering events (passport applications / renewals, for example). I have dual citizen friends who have experienced it, but, of course, these are personal stories and nothing I can show as evidence.

The BIGGEST mistake any dual citizen individual can do is to actually raise the question with anyone in government. Because once the question is asked, it can't be un-asked. And then the provisions in the law / code that are relevant start to be quoted back to the dual citizen individual. Which is to your point of "don't ask, don't tell."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How did they know your daughter had dual nationality?

If he is anything like me the local office will assume such with the cases of children born into households with people of different nationalities as it is a requirement for foreigners to register with their local office when moving into the municipality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Disillusioned,

I went through this a few years ago when my daughter turned 12. We started receiving threatening letters from Japan immigration about her dual nationality demanding that we denounce one.

How did they know your daughter had dual nationality?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Atsushi Kondo, law professor at the University of Meijo near Nagoya, said there was one main reason the government was unwilling to change the law. "The majority of the population want Japan to remain a country of one people and the government is scared of losing the old fogies' votes."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The rules issued by the Ministry of Justice have been ignored and there are precedents for their evasion.

The case of Alberto Fujimori comes to mind.Issued a Japanese passport without delay and without giving up his Peruvian nationality was given shelter in Japan-Fujimori was born in Peru.

And for thiose of you that wish to avoid queues at the airports here then just register for the automatic gates.- it does away with the immigration underlings annoying barking...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't understand this story. Shiraishi didn't even apply for a Swiss passport until later in life. If a Japanese passport or citizenship were THAT important to her, she would have renounced her Swiss citizenship.

I myself was not able to get citizenship or passport from my mother's country, despite my siblings haveing them. What did I do - I moved on. I'm happy with my present citizenship. That's life. Deal with it.

Japan is one of around 50 countries in the world that allows only one nationality. In Asia, China and South Korea also impose such a law.

Not true. For China, many Hongkongers are known to have collected several passports (legally). As for mainland Chinese, you can have seven if you own Huawei.

It will be interesting to see what Osaka does. There's no way such a high profile person can get away with keeping both passports. Merry Christmas.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Im British and teaching in Japan with a 5 year visa and love it so much I'd like to stay forever. How does one go about it ?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Look into the recent legal change in Taiwan to allow foreign people to gain multiple nationalities (before it was only Taiwanese who could go abroad and pick up a second passport). There were nominally foreign people such as doctors who had thirty years work experience in Taiwan who used the change in the law to become newly minted citizens. I saw a blurb about a group of prominent immigrants scheduled to be featured at New Years Day festivities at the presidential residence, presumably with corresponding coverage in the media. On the surface, Taiwan now seems more progressive than many other places as far as accepting foreigners as new citizens without making them give up a previous nationality.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@M3M3M3

Interesting link thank you, to be honest I had assumed the perpertual right, but then I hope by the time they "might" need to select one due to Japan's law, things would have changed, with the oldest at 7, that leaves 15 years (Hmm on 2nd thoughts thats not much time for Japanese law reform)..

We will leave that choice to the kids when and if the time comes, once they hit 22. I think both passports have their own power, and it really depends what they want to do.. 

But then I am hoping they can keep both for as long as possible and think it's silly to need to renounce one countries passport just to please another..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

yes, if you dont go down and swear before a consular officer, even after taking on Japanese citizenship, seems your US citizenship is still valid? So I guess some are just hiding it, or the J gov could care less? Its interesting. There is absolutely no way, even with all the idiots in the US now, that I would become a Japanese, or even remotely recommend it, but I guess as long as you dont raise your hand at the embassy, your good? There is like a 1 year window, and if you dont change your mind within that window, pretty much done for unless you marry a US citizen, then go apply for PR then try for citizenship, but who knows what State would say or think about that. Ive met some who regreted it. Your ciitzenship is your most precious asset, dont squandor it away.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have read that the U.S. supreme court ruled that you must renounce your citizenship voluntarily, otherwise your US citizenship is still valid.

You have to pay a lot of cash to renounce your citizenship too!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many Japanese were revoked Japanese citizenship when they acquired another nationality.

Would love to hear your view of dual citizenship Tina. Would these Japanese be considered tainted in your eyes? Are they welcome in the Japan you hope to bring into being? Are their loyalties suspect? Should they be forced to choose one or the other when they come of age? Please elaborate. What are you thoughts on hafu? I'd love to hear them. It'd no doubt give many of insight into what one group thinks about our children or "others."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

When it comes to US law, I have read that the U.S. supreme court ruled that you must renounce your citizenship voluntarily, otherwise your US citizenship is still valid. Meaning, even if you gain Japanese citizenship and later decide you wont renounce your US citizenship, your still a US citizen. Written in passports seems to indicate something different; something to the effect that you can loose your US citizenship by becoming a citizen of another country. I wonder if the Japanese gov hunts down those who never renounced, and if so, what could they make them do? I would never advise anyone to become a Japanese citizen, just get the PR instead. Only way I could see any justification in it is for some asylum or medical breakthrough that required Japanese citizenship.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

At best, Japan can try to revoke Japanese citizenship for a dual national, but they have NEVER EVER done that. Ever!! It is a monumental effort.

Many Japanese were revoked Japanese citizenship when they acquired another nationality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I dont care which passport holds more power or which country is better for living. I will do whatever i can to make sure my kids have as much freedom to choose their future. One of those choices will be where to live. exactly! this is something many cant understand or are jealous of since they arent children of dual nationalities. If japan becomes a difficult place to live in the future the though that some can pack up and leave for greener pastures makes their blood boil. LOL

5 ( +6 / -1 )

what many get confused with is citizenship is different to passports, my children hold dual citizenship but only have a Japanese passport, having a second passport just makes things complicated.

if we decide to move back to my home country my children will need to apply for their dual national passport which is simple since they already hold citizenship. they can currently stay for 90 days, whenever immigration officals ask to see our childrens second passports we state they only have one, Japanese.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why on earth would you deprive your kids of an EU passport?

I suspect that his wife and kids will continue to ask this question as the years pass.

Anyway, all this talk about immigration lines... I think that the foreign residents line at Narita is the shortest of all three (Japanese nationals, Foreign tourists, Foreign residents). So i am usually waiting on the other side for my wife and child.

Bingo. That's been my experience for years though I often travel alone with my dual national child so she comes through my line but it's still a breeze.

And finally what Dirk said. IOW, same as it ever was, except for prominent professional athletes or pols like Renho--for the overwhelming majority of us/our kids it's the status quo.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@John Beara

As the others have said, the ability to travel to unknown African countries might be nice and all, but holding two passports gives your kids CHOICE to decide if they want to live/work in Europe, or Japan. Quite selfish to decide that they dont need that freedom, but then its your kids, you raise them how YOU see fit.

I dont care which passport holds more power or which country is better for living. I will do whatever i can to make sure my kids have as much freedom to choose their future. One of those choices will be where to live.

Anyway, all this talk about immigration lines... I think that the foreign residents line at Narita is the shortest of all three (Japanese nationals, Foreign tourists, Foreign residents). So i am usually waiting on the other side for my wife and child.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If you are born in Japan, you do, however, have a fast track to citizenship even if neither parent is Japanese. This is explicitly stated in the fine print of the official guide that explains how you can obtain Japanese nationality.

This is not a fast track nor guarantee. Particularly if BOTH parents are foreign born!

Registering is one thing, being granted citizenship is totally another thing!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And why would they need it? Don't you know? Japanese passport is the number one passport in the world.

you really dont know much about passports/visas do you. just because your kids have a Japanese passport doesn't mean they can stay in the EU indefinitely, they'll need to apply for visas for long stays or permanent residency, if they had a EU passport then they are a citizen of the EU, no need to do anything, can travel freely within the EU 26+ member countries stay anywhere as long as they like have all the rights of a EU citizen. You also dont take into account that Japan may well not be as liveable in the future for your Japanese children with rising social security cost and taxes, and the EU may even make it more difficult for foreigner to obtain EU citizenship, depriving your kids of this entitlement is only limiting their future lives, careers.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@john beara

Sure, you may be happy living and working in Japan but you have basically taken a very rare thing away from them which could have been very beneficial to their future by depriving them of dual citizenship. Not for me to say what you do to your kids though, I personally would be pretty bummed knowing I lost that opportunity.

You do know what the difference between a passport and nationality is right? Japan's passport may be the strongest passport this year, but it hasn't always been nor will it always be...doesn't really mean anything except ease of travel either when it comes down to it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My daughter is 23, lives in Japan and has both an American and Japanese passport. She had her Japanese passport renewed at a Japanese consulate in America and the officials there were aware that she had an American passport. No one said anything because my daughter kept her mouth closed. No one is "forced" to give up one's passport and the woman in the article voluntarily turned hers in under the (bad) advice of her attorney father. I too spoke with a Japanese attorney (in America) and was told this law isn't enforced because it can't be enforced - there simply is no agency in place to do so. Don't ask, don't tell is the official policy of Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@bullfighter

This is not just a Japanese requirement. It is standard among countries that allow dual nationality. If you want to be treated as a national of country X, you enter and leave with your country X passport.

Er, we agree. I was stating a fact, not making a point.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ John Beara

Why on earth would you deprive your kids of an EU passport?

And why would they need it? Don't you know? Japanese passport is the number one passport in the world.

https://www.google.be/amp/s/amp.usatoday.com/amp/1587090002

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

@ John Beara

Why on earth would you deprive your kids of an EU passport?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

BTW you don't need to have a Japanese passport to go through the immigration lines at Japanese airports if you have permanent residency status here.

Actually you do have to wait in the immigration lines even if you have a permanent resident visa. Not only do I have to wait in the line for non-Japanese passport holders, but my wife and daughter, who are Japanese - not dual citizens - have to wait with me and the foreign tourists. It’s happened twice in the past two years.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I've found the authorities are loathe to try to enforce this - they want as many taxpayers as they can get, and will look the other way when they see a dual national. They can't take a foreign passport, and don't want to strip a Japanese or dual national of their Japanese citizenship. And at least they don't charge you $2350 and a portion of projected future income to relinquish, like the US does. If not for this, I'd have had my kids surrender their US passports some time ago.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No this is not true, in fact it's far from it! Japan does not automatically grant citizenship to people born in Japan.

Most countries do not unconditionally grant citizenship solely on the basis of being born in that country. The US and Canada do, but that's relatively unusual. In the US this is becoming increasingly controversial.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jus_soli

https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2018/11/02/what-is-birthright-citizenship

If you are born in Japan, you do, however, have a fast track to citizenship even if neither parent is Japanese. This is explicitly stated in the fine print of the official guide that explains how you can obtain Japanese nationality.

"... they MUST register the child ...

Registration requirements to claim citizenship are fairly common in other countries as well.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If you born in japan... u're japanese, if u born in jamaica... u're jamaican... she wasn't born in Japan. Period.

No this is not true, in fact it's far from it! Japan does not automatically grant citizenship to people born in Japan.

Imcorrect, if you are born in Japan to at least one Japanese parent yoir child is Japanese. If two foreign parents have a child in Japan it is stateless (depend on the parents country of citizenship) and not Japanese.

ONLY if the Japanese parent registers the child under their family registry. People should look up the regulations and laws before passing along information like this.

Also if the child is born abroad, even to Japanese parents, they MUST register the child with the closest embassy or consulate for the child to be recognized as having Japanese citizenship. If they fail to do so the child will not automatically be granted it!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

 They want Japanese nationals to enter and exit on Japanese passports

This is not just a Japanese requirement. It is standard among countries that allow dual nationality. If you want to be treated as a national of country X, you enter and leave with your country X passport.

In my previous posting, I forget to mention another disadvantage of holding dual nationality. If you have nationality X and Y and get into trouble in one of those countries, the other will not offer you consular assistance. You are a citizen of X and Y and you get busted in country Y. Country X will not help you out. This is typically explicitly stated in national laws/regulations pertaining to dual nationality.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

My kids are bellow 5 years old.... and i knew the rules before. My country is Belgium, is not that bad, but i am happy to work and stay in Japan, all good now?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

This is a question of xenophobic immigration officials trying to enforce something that is not supported by the law.

What evidence is there that immigration officials are actually making an effort to enforce the legal prohibition on dual nationality?

I have been reading everything I can find on this issue since I put in for Japanese nationality nearly five years ago. I have seen no indication in either Japanese or English that there is any real enforcement effort. If you have evidence of enforcement efforts, please share this evidence here.

Everything I have seen says the policy is "don't ask, don't tell." Don't go around screaming "Look at me. I've got dual nationality" and nothing will happen. You're much more likely to get in trouble with the US government if you have dual US-Japanese nationality and have failed to comply with IRS and FATCA/FBAR requirements.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The problem is that there is a new requirement when renewing a Japanese passport: you have to check a box stating whether or not you have any foreign citizenship. If you lie and don't report, might the Japanese government possibly refuse to issue you a passport until you give up your foreign citizenship?

The wiser thing to do would be not to lie on an official form. It's asking for trouble.

If the authorities here were to withhold a passport, it doesn't change the nationality status of the applicant at all.

And that person, a Japanese national, when travelling in and out of Japan, would have no option but to use the foreign nationality passport. That's a bureaucratic mess for an airport immigration officer to have to deal with. They want Japanese nationals to enter and exit on Japanese passports. How are they to handle a Japanese national on entry if there isn't a Japanese passport? Using a foreign passport means you normally need to be assigned a status - either you're already PR, reentering on an existing visa, or some period of stay is granted. None of this applies to Japanese nationals.

Not granting a passport causes way more problems for officials than it solves.

@wtfjapan

her parents are both JAPANESE , she has so called JAPANESE pure blood and probably looks JAPANESE, yet becuase her JAPANESE mother became pregnant and had birth to her in Switzerland while working for the UN she now has to for surrender her JAPANESE citizenship because the law thinks shes Swiss!?

I think the article above is obscure on this point. It simply says: 'Her father, a lawyer, advised her to return her Japanese passport. "For him, there was no question of me living 'hidden', residing against Japanese laws by holding two passports in secret."'

It's unclear what "returning her passport" means, but what sounds very likely is that she - on extremely bad advice from her father - formally renounced her Japanese nationality. That is a voluntary action, but ludicrously easy to do, and once done, practically irrevocable. Basically, she's a victim of her father's meddling and, frankly, ignorance.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If you born in japan... u're japanese, if u born in jamaica... u're jamaican... she wasn't born in Japan. 

Imcorrect, if you are born in Japan to at least one Japanese parent yoir child is Japanese. If two foreign parents have a child in Japan it is stateless (depend on the parents country of citizenship) and not Japanese.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

According to the letter of the law, anyone who has not chosen either way within the period prescribed is required to make a decision within a month or they are stripped of their nationality.

In practice, though, the justice ministry has never sent such a demand. It says it was aware of 900,000 people with dual nationality between 1985 and 2016. But the actual figure could be larger or smaller.

And this is the key.

If a dual citizen has that status as a result of acquiring both at birth (birthright citizenship) as opposed to being naturalized (acquiring citizenship at a later time via changing citizenship from one country to another), then it is straightforward.

I know plenty of dual nationality citizens who hold Japanese citizenship at birth and who also held another citizenship at birth.

And when they hit the magical age, they kept both. The foreign country didn't require them to renounce their Japanese citizenship and they never renounced their foreign citizenship for Japan.

Japan has NO ability to make a dual-citizen revoke their foreign citizenship. Despite the pressure from the xenophobic immigration bureau to the the contrary.

At best, Japan can try to revoke Japanese citizenship for a dual national, but they have NEVER EVER done that. Ever!! It is a monumental effort.

So, know your rights! And don't be bullied!! Oh, and, yes, there is some language around the renewal of passports and nationalities, but, again, I know those that have disregarded this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I trust that all those with dual Japanese-US nationality are filing US income tax returns and FBAR statements and in the case of males, they have registered for the draft (still in effect).

There are a number of countries with compulsory military service (Korea and Israel are two examples) and using your other nationality to dodge military service can land you in jail.

Similarly, I trust that all those Japanese nationals who also hold US nationality are in compliance with FACTA and have informed their Japanese bank that they are a US national. If not, you could find yourself deep in brown stuff that is not miso.

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/corporations/foreign-account-tax-compliance-act-fatca

Curious that this article fails to mention that a number of countries sell nationality including some in Europe.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/02/citizenship-by-investment-passport-super-rich-nationality

Allowing such dual nationality further extends the privileges of the very wealthy.

I have spoken to both Hitoshi Nogawa and his lawyer. Neither would give a straight answer as to why he wanted Swiss citizenship other than to say "to bid on public contracts" but under Swiss law you do not need to have Swiss nationality to bid on public contracts unless they have "security significance" in other words military contracts.

It is not obvious to me that allowing Japanese nationals to get involved in the military affairs of another country, even a friendly country, is a good thing.

Not allowing dual nationality is not necessarily a sign of being "backward." Australia is extremely strict when in comes to dual nationality.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-42897523

Had Renho been an Australian parliamentarian she would have lost her seat in the Diet. As it was, she just had to do the paperwork to dump her ROC (Republic of China, aka Taiwan) citizenship.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@john beara

I think one could argue that growing up in Switzerland makes her "culturally swiss" but that doesn't mean she isn't Japanese by race and it certainly shouldn't make her ineligible for Japanese citizenship.

I think you made the wrong choice by not even giving your kids the chance to choose their nationality. You must really hate whatever country you crawled out of to come to Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If you lie and don't report, might the Japanese government possibly refuse to issue you a passport until you give up your foreign citizenship?

Plastic, if you're a celebrity like Osaka, they'll bend over backwards to claim you. Average Joes are on their own.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Kiwi in Okinawa

as they were actually born in NZ. They could simple just request new passports, they could never give up the fact they were born in NZ

You may want to check the law on this carefully. Even for those born in a jus soli country, the rules are often quite different for former citizens who've renounced their citizenship. Their entitlement to citizenship isn't automatic anymore. Birth in these countries should be viewed more as a single-use ticket to citizenship rather than an unlimited lifetime pass. This is definitely true in the US and Canada and a cursory search suggests the same is true for New Zealand.

If you want to gain NZ citizenship again in the future, you’ll have to meet all the requirements to become a citizen by grant.

Citizenship by grant seems to require years of residence in New Zealand, the intention to reside permanently, and you can be refused if you have a criminal conviction, etc.

https://www.govt.nz/browse/passports-citizenship-and-identity/nz-citizenship/changing-your-citizenship-status/give-up-your-nz-citizenship/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

She made the wrong move....

Really? I got the impression she lives and works in Switzerland and only travels to Japan. So keeping her Swiss passport is correct and is only lamenting the lack of a dual option

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why it's so hard to follow rules? japan don't allow to hold 2 passports. Deal with it and stop crying. She made the wrong move....

-18 ( +2 / -20 )

Just keep renewing both passports.

The problem is that there is a new requirement when renewing a Japanese passport: you have to check a box stating whether or not you have any foreign citizenship. If you lie and don't report, might the Japanese government possibly refuse to issue you a passport until you give up your foreign citizenship?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's just practical to keep the one with the country you live in the most. I think we allow multiple citizenship so it's a non issue. Native North Americans are dual citizens and have their own passports.

Dual and Multiple citizenship is one way to attract PEOPLE to a country and not worry about it. If they want to stay they'll become a part of the fabric of the nation and make it stronger. The kids will grow up Canadian. We even broadcast hockey in multiple languages. A recent city election ballot was in 44 languages.

What is worth keeping will stay. What isn't worth keeping will go. It's good

Ironically the Japanese language is being replaced by a patois Engrish, (not English) so in 10-20 years there's not going to be much of a Japan left

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I think one could argue that growing up in Switzerland makes her "culturally swiss" but that doesn't mean she isn't Japanese by race and it certainly shouldn't make her ineligible for Japanese citizenship.

Its pretty silly that they could allow for a "special case" with Osaka for dual nationality too. Like saying the "half" kids need to prove their Japaneseness.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan's population is declining at a devastating pace. Why prevent an increase in Japanese nationals?

This. And as others have said, no reason to worry. Just keep renewing both passports. I do wish Osaka would kind of force the issue a bit. Like wait a second, you want me to give up my US passport but you also want to parade me about like your champion, not America's or Haiti's? Which just seems proprietary. Again, I don't ask that she jeopardize all those lucrative contracts she's signed with J-companies but given how many more dual nationals there are, at some pt. if a few prominent, empowered individuals were to kick up a fuss, there would be real impetus for change.

I suspect that what will happen is she'll be assured that no such decision need be made and the media will simply stop talking about it.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Dougthehead, “...a Spaniard...,married to a Japanese woman...has a daughter and is expecting his second child. ...has been in Japan for 13 years....has to renew his visa every 3 years. He doesn't have a permanent visa yet. Not even the 5-year-old.”

This is confusing. Does the “5-year-old” refer to his daughter? Why would she need a permanent visa? Her mother is Japanese so she would have Japanese citizenship through her and wouldn’t need a visa to be in Japan. Unless her birth was not properly registered, that is. If that’s the case it’s the fault of your friend and his wife.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If you born in japan... u're japanese, if u born in jamaica... u're jamaican... she wasn't born in Japan. Period.

her parents are both JAPANESE , she has so called JAPANESE pure blood and probably looks JAPANESE, yet becuase her JAPANESE mother became pregnant and had birth to her in Switzerland while working for the UN she now has to for surrender her JAPANESE citizenship because the law thinks shes Swiss!?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Hopefully this silly old law changes before my 2 kids need to decide their nationality, luckily even if they gave up the NZ citizenship to please Japanese officials to retain a J passport, as they were actually born in NZ. They could simple just request new passports, they could never give up the fact they were born in NZ, so always have rights to own a NZ passport when they want.

Yes, the law is outdated, impractical, and ought to be changed. That isn't looking likely at the moment, but there's nothing to stop your children going with the alternative. If they want to retain Japanese nationality, then they simply make the formal declaration of choice when the time comes, and carry on as normal. It doesn't make any difference to their NZ nationality.

Thereafter, there really isn't a need for subterfuge; as people have said, for travelling, a dual national should show the Japan passport on entry and exit from Japan, and (in your children's case) the NZ one for NZ entry and exit. Only show the other passport if actually asked to; keep it ready but out of sight otherwise.

Mainly, your children need to know 3 things:

They can't be compelled by Japan to give up their non-Japanese nationality.

They can't be stripped of their Japanese nationality.

They can be tricked into giving up Japanese nationality.

As long as they don't fall for no. 3, dual nationality is possible.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@NihonryuToday

That makes sense. Thanks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you born in japan... u're japanese, if u born in jamaica... u're jamaican... she wasn't born in Japan. Period.

You really should think about the stuff you post. Anyone who looked at that for more than a second would know that's obviously false. Foreigners born in Japan have never been accepted as Japanese.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

@NihonRyu:

When leaving Japan you said check in with US passport... any special reason?

I thought you should do everything with J passport, and only use US passport to enter the US?

Would US immigration stamp your J passport if you requested?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You think they would at least offer permanent residency when revoking Japanese citizenship. Seems like a B.S. law that remains because of the xenophobic culture that Japan doesn't like to talk about.

What I don't get is that places like the west, where racism is so easily visible, we still allow dual nationality. Japan's history of isolation is a very weak excuse in the modern world.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Naomi Osaka is now 21 so she will most likely just have to give up her Japanese passport.

She doesn’t speak Japanese, has no other ties than the Japanese media put on her.

In fact, most professional tennis players head and live in the US as the tennis circuit in Japan does not compare....,

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The Swiss passport is the best in the world so don't know what they're complaining about.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I wonder which way Naomi will swing next year.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hopefully this silly old law changes before my 2 kids need to decide their nationality, luckily even if they gave up the NZ citizenship to please Japanese officials to retain a J passport, as they were actually born in NZ. They could simple just request new passports, they could never give up the fact they were born in NZ, so always have rights to own a NZ passport when they want.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Hahahaha!! Oh dear.....

'shame and embarrassment'.......'stuck with the foreigners'

Unwittingly says a lot.

This part stuck out to me as well, aw poor thing! Putting the kanji name in alphabet in other official documentation is just overkill though. That would make me mad. What right does the gov. have changing peoples' names?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

dougthehead13Today 09:17 am JST

This is one of the many consequences of having a very obsolete constitution in force. Bearing in mind that it was adopted in 1947. And it has never been modified.

The main culprits are mostly left-wing political parties. Like the Socialist Party, the Communist Party and to a lesser extent the Social Democrat. They refuse to update this constitutional text in a totally irrational way. They do not even agree to sit at a negotiating table. Indispensable in a democratic system............"

I'm a little confused. Are you talking about Japan here? You know - the country where the conservatives and right wing have control of both the upper and lower house. The same leaning govt that has been in power for essentially 60 years, save a couple or so.

The dual-nationality debate has been stifled by the reckonings of the "Keep Japan Pure" advocates.

On second thoughts - maybe you - doughthehead13 - are being sarcastic. Apologies if I missed that.

And my own daughters have 2 passports. They have always been requested to show both when leaving Japan and Australia.

IMO, the best solution to this quandary is to accept dual nationality with chosen reciprocating countries, in the same way that pension plans, working holidays, visa-free travel etc etc are implemented. That would be a simple but positive first step in recognizing the realities of 21c global living.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

My son is 23 and is skillful at passport usage. Even in the US, if you're arriving as a US citizen, they do not want a glimpse of an alternative passport. Of course, the fact that his Japanese passport only has exit/entry stamps from Japan would clue them in, they don't care. It's my perception that the law is mostly aimed at naturalization - non-Japanese taking Japanese nationality - rather than those born here. Don't ask, don't tell.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Good to see Japan continue to be downright primitive!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I have heard this before and still does not make sense to me. Suppose you leave Japan(A) with your Japanese passport. They stamp it on exiting Japan. So you get to Country(B) and use your (B) passport. But when you return to Japan and show your (A) passort, it has no stamp other than the exit stamp from when you left. So doesn't this lead to the question of where were you, and how come theres's no entry stamp in your passport(A)? You can't show your passport (B) on entering Japan.

The reason's pretty simple. I've been in 8 different countries over the past 2 years, but don't have but 3 stamps. Many countries, especially those going to all electronic systems, have done away with the classic stamp. The idea is that if the police pick you up, they'll run your passport anyway, and then any relevant information (such as date of entry) will pop then.

For another two countries, the stamp is so blurry and illegible as to make it irrelevant as to if it's in there or not. This includes the last time I entered Japan on a tourist visa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are no legal grounds for Japan to force anybody to denounce one nationality for another. The main reason they want people to have a single nationality is for the pension and health insurance. I went through this a few years ago when my daughter turned 12. We started receiving threatening letters from Japan immigration about her dual nationality demanding that we denounce one. I just laughed and told them to get stuffed. However, my Japanese ex-wife gave in to their intimidation and gave up her foreign nationality.

They cannot make anyone give up their dual or multiple nationalities despite their threats.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is one of the many consequences of having a very obsolete constitution in force. Bearing in mind that it was adopted in 1947. And it has never been modified.

The main culprits are mostly left-wing political parties. Like the Socialist Party, the Communist Party and to a lesser extent the Social Democrat. They refuse to update this constitutional text in a totally irrational way. They do not even agree to sit at a negotiating table. Indispensable in a democratic system. They want us to believe that the constitution is an inalterable document that cannot be changed. And it is for these reasons that their election results are very low. And then they are surprised that very few people vote for them.

Although I don't like PLD. It is very clear that the opposition is the main culprit that this does not change. I know because I have a former schoolmate and friend of mine who lives in Osaka. And he tells me how hard it is to live there as a Spaniard. He is also married to a Japanese woman. He has a daughter and is expecting his second child. Because of this unjust law. My friend has been in Japan for 13 years. He has to renew his visa every 3 years. He doesn't have a permanent visa yet. Not even the 5-year-old. And that's frustrating for him.

In order for laws to change, the constitution must first be reformed. And for that a broad consensus of minimums is needed. And for that to happen. The parties of the progressive left have to lift that legislative veto that they are forcibly imposing in parliament. In order to solve this serious problem.

I couldn't go on like this.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

If you born in japan... u're japanese, if u born in jamaica... u're jamaican... she wasn't born in Japan. Period.

Um no, not period. Whatever gave you the silly idea it ends there? It’s a hell of a lot more nuanced a topic than that.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Dont say anything and keep it. I know people with three passports in their 30's one passport being Japanese.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Hahahaha!! Oh dear.....

'shame and embarrassment'.......'stuck with the foreigners'

Unwittingly says a lot.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

If you born in japan... u're japanese, if u born in jamaica... u're jamaican... she wasn't born in Japan. Period.

Be Japanese or not, and if u're not and wannabe... then fil a form and apply for it.

My two kids were born in Japan, my wife kept asking me to register 'em in my own embassy and i always refused.

-27 ( +3 / -30 )

I have heard this before and still does not make sense to me. 

Good question. I am only familiar with Canada but upon landing the Canadian passport is used primarily for citizen identification. Canada recognizes dual citizenship so you just bring both passports with you and for immigration purposes they will stamp the passport used previously to exit the other country.

This requirement started in 2016, so before that I wouldn't even need to present a Canadian passport and would just check the box stating that I am a citizen while using my Japanese passport to enter.

It's probably different and more difficult with countries that don't recognize dual citizenship.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ossan Having both U.S. and Japanese passports, this is how you do it and nobody has raised a question in the last 15-16yrs. Going to U.S. from Japan: Check-in with U.S., leave immigration with Japanese, enter U.S. with U.S. Going from U.S. to Japan: Just leave with Japan and enter Japan with the same. No questions, no fuss on both sides. (Just make sure your U.S. and Japanese passports match name for name for ticketing purposes.)

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My kids have two passports and we always show the Japanese one when we leave Japan for holidays and the other one when we get back. Because they’re still small, we were never questioned about anything. At the check in, air company staff always ask if we have the Visa to enter Brazil and we eventually have to tell them they’ve got dual citizenship, though. I wonder what will happen when they become adults.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

syzyguyToday  07:13 am JST

when you are in country A use country A's passport, when you are in country B use country B's passport.

I have heard this before and still does not make sense to me. Suppose you leave Japan(A) with your Japanese passport. They stamp it on exiting Japan. So you get to Country(B) and use your (B) passport. But when you return to Japan and show your (A) passort, it has no stamp other than the exit stamp from when you left. So doesn't this lead to the question of where were you, and how come theres's no entry stamp in your passport(A)? You can't show your passport (B) on entering Japan.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

YubaruToday  07:45 am JST

Except that Japanese TV is riddled with Gai(koku)jin and Ha-fus.

Yeah and like it or not, sometimes I get the impression it's because folks like visiting the zoo sometimes too!

They like "oohing" and "ahhing" at the animals in the cages!

LOL.

Many if not most of those people speak Japanese better than the Japanese on the same programs. And all ha-fus play characters who are fully Japanese. The gai(koku)jin are something else, they get to grab foreigner roles.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I was one of thousands that had dual nationalities having been born in Japan and raised overseas.

The one problem with not declaring your second (non-Japanese) nationality is that if you ever apply for permanent residency, they will investigate your past and find out you once had (still have) Japanese citizenship.

This happened to me but there was no fine or real penalty except for a mild rebuke that I was supposed to do so when I obtained citizenship in my other country.

They really should change this archaic law as I'd like to have my Japanese citizenship back.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Except that Japanese TV is riddled with Gai(koku)jin and Ha-fus.

Yeah and like it or not, sometimes I get the impression it's because folks like visiting the zoo sometimes too!

They like "oohing" and "ahhing" at the animals in the cages!

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Ms Shiraishi could have retained her Japanese passport by giving up her Swiss one if she loved the country of her birth so much.

-18 ( +8 / -26 )

Yubaru, I have PR here too, and always use that line and they always try to make me go through the foreign visitor line! Lost count how many times I have to explain their own job to them!

I feel for you! Prior to taking Japanese citizenship, I had PR status, and was "told" to use the foreigners line as well, until I learned better, that I had the right to use the Japanese line, and just ignored them and got in the Japanese line and nothing else was said.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Ah_soToday  07:12 am JST

"The majority of the population want Japan to remain a country of one people and perhaps linked to that is the idea that we do not want to become a country of immigration."

Exactly. Japan does not want people with any split nationalities subverting the concept of what it means to be Japanese.

Except that Japanese TV is riddled with Gai(koku)jin and Ha-fus.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Yubaru, I have PR here too, and always use that line and they always try to make me go through the foreign visitor line! Lost count how many times I have to explain their own job to them!

15 ( +15 / -0 )

i still have both my citizenships... definitely makes going through Narita a lot smoother, though one time a female airport worker kept aggressively repeating "THIS LINE IS FOR JAPANESE PASSPORTS ONLY" in my direction louder and louder while I ignored her and waited in line.

BTW you don't need to have a Japanese passport to go through the immigration lines at Japanese airports if you have permanent residency status here.

The airport worker evidently was poorly trained and wasn't doing her job if she was repeating this to you,

19 ( +22 / -3 )

I fully support people being allowed to have dual nationalities! The times and situations have changed and Japan needs to get with it and join the 21st Century.

(Geez did I just suggest that Japan "join" the 21st Century? sarcasm!)

19 ( +23 / -4 )

i still have both my citizenships... definitely makes going through Narita a lot smoother, though one time a female airport worker kept aggressively repeating "THIS LINE IS FOR JAPANESE PASSPORTS ONLY" in my direction louder and louder while I ignored her and waited in line.

sounds like the woman in the article is just butthurt because her father gave her some bad advice. the lawyer's comments at the end are correct, under normal circumstances without going through the formal process of renouncing your citizenship you will likely never run into a problem. when you are in country A use country A's passport, when you are in country B use country B's passport.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

"The majority of the population want Japan to remain a country of one people and perhaps linked to that is the idea that we do not want to become a country of immigration."

Xenophobia.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

"The majority of the population want Japan to remain a country of one people and perhaps linked to that is the idea that we do not want to become a country of immigration."

Exactly. Japan does not want people with any split nationalities subverting the concept of what it means to be Japanese.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

If Japan is aware of today's changing circumstances to the extent of realizing that the constitution needs to be amended, that more foreign workers need to be let in, then they should realize that they need to recognize dual nationality. At least with certain countries, such as those that will reciprocate.

"The majority of the population want Japan to remain a country of one people and perhaps linked to that is the idea that we do not want to become a country of immigration."

Two arguments against this statement are that firstly, those who seek dual nationality already are connected to Japan, in many cases even by birth as the article points out. Not the same as "immigrants" in general. Secondly, Japan's population is declining at a devastating pace. Why prevent an increase in Japanese nationals?

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Dual nationals feel cast adrift in Japan

The result of 19th century bureaucratic thinking in the 21st century.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

There's no moral ground for a law that requires a person to declare something voluntarily.

You have the right to remain silent until you die.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Japan being Japan as ever old and stubborn.

22 ( +27 / -5 )

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