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Foreign residents prohibited from participating in Yu-Gi-Oh Japan Championship

51 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

This coming September, Seattle will be the host city for the Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship. Before the world’s best players of the collectible card game make their way to the west coast of the United States, though, they’ll have to prove their mastery by defeating their rival Duelists in preliminary tournaments in their home regions and countries.

However, for those aiming to win the Yu-Gi-Oh Japan Championship 2024, the competition pool isn’t actually every Yu-Gi-Oh player in Japan, as the rules expressly prohibit foreign residents of Japan from taking part in the tournament.

Sifting through the registration requirements for the Japan Championship and its feeder tournaments, most of the clauses seem like pretty standard stuff. Proof of identity is required, so that you can’t have a ringer play for you or try to win multiple feeder competitions to reduce the total number of players who can reach the Japan Championship stage. All cards used must be official Yu-Gi-Oh cards, so you can’t stuff your deck with easily-obtained bootlegs of what’re supposed to be rare cards.

Further down the list, though, you come to the clause that all participants must have a Japanese address. That makes sense, since ostensibly the whole point of the Japan Championship is to find the best Yu-Gi-Oh players who live in Japan, not the best Yu-Gi-Oh who just happen to be traveling through Japan at the time. Address/residency requirements are actually pretty common in these sorts of quasi-contractual promotions and events, wherein there needs to be some sort of localized legal framework for agreements like this, where if you win competition you get some sort of prize or eligibility privilege.

But where things get surprising is where the Yu-Gi-Oh Japan Championship 2024 entry requirements state: “Entry is restricted to people of Japanese nationality.”

The Japanese nationality (i.e. Japanese citizenship) requirement means that foreign residents of Japan are barred from the Japan Championship and its feeder competitions. In other words, citizens of foreign countries who are legally living in Japan, either by nature of working in a Japanese workplace, attending a Japanese school, or marriage to a Japanese resident, cannot participate in the competition.

It’s possible that the Japanese citizenship requirement was put in place as a further means to make sure the Yu-Gi-Oh Japan Championship winners are people who really live in Japan, screening out those who happen to be on short-term student/work visas that coincide with the few months over which the preliminary competitions and finals will take place (March to July). However, the citizenship requirement also bars those who have been living in Japan for years or decades. Even foreign residents of Japan who have obtained permanent residency status from the Japanese government are ineligible for the Yu-Gi-Oh Japan Championship unless they have also obtained Japanese citizenship, which, for adults, means they must renounce their home country citizenship, since Japan does not allow dual nationality past the age of 20.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, the Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship entry regulations are less strict. The franchise’s official website’s World Qualifying Points FAQ For North, Central, and South America Territories simply states that “Duelists must be legal residents of the territory they wish to represent and provide valid proof of residency.”

Admittedly, foreigners living in Japan and playing with Japanese-language cards make up a pretty small subset of the Yu-Gi-Oh player base, so it’s not shocking that the demographic wasn’t a major priority in crafting the Japan Championship rules. On the other hand, the fact that someone on the tournament’s legal team thought it was necessary to explicitly require Japanese nationality in addition to Japanese residency shows that the Japan Championship organizers can at least imagine that there might be foreign residents who might want to compete, so it’s odd to see them taking steps to lock them out.

Source: Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship 2024 (1, 2), via Twitter/@rurohancwc via Anime News Network/Alex Mateo

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© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

51 Comments
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Further down the list, though, you come to the clause that all participants must have a Japanese address.

 However, the citizenship requirement also bars those who have been living in Japan for years or decades.

Japan like to make things complicated, first to have address and also not only being Japanese but need to live in Japan for years. So even Korean Zainichi who born and lived in Japan and play this game from kids can't play this. It just how things being done in Japan.

-17 ( +22 / -39 )

Foreigners ‘not allowed’

Of course, in Japan discriminatory behavior is perfectly accepted.

-6 ( +33 / -39 )

Japan just never changes. Terrible but expected.

-9 ( +28 / -37 )

it’s not shocking that the demographic wasn’t a major priority in crafting the Japan Championship rules. On the other hand, the fact that someone on the tournament’s legal team thought it was necessary to explicitly require Japanese nationality in addition to Japanese residency shows that the Japan Championship organizers can at least imagine that there might be foreign residents who might want to compete, so it’s odd to see them taking steps to lock them out.

I don’t know anything about Yu Gi Oh, but if that rule is in there it was for a deliberate reason. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few good players who are foreign residents that they are unfairly trying to exclude in order to reduce competition for their favored players.

Rules like that are just plain rotten. Any foreign resident is eliminated from the competition not just in Japan but also globally since they wouldn’t meet the residency requirements of their home country.

11 ( +21 / -10 )

Japan always have a green flag for his blatant xenophobia and racism.

And this is just another example.

-12 ( +21 / -33 )

Not surprising, but what stands out most to me is the so-called journalism!

A good journalist would have at least tried digging deeper by contacting the company and ask for an explanation, a reason for the rule!

Even if the company didn't reply or refused to comment, the writer could include that information!

Proper journalists do this all the time or at least used to.

We often see something similar to the following:

" we contacted XYZ for a comment/clarification/explanation, etc...but they didn't reply to our inquiry or they refused to give a comment, etc .."

All we have here is telling us the rules and speculation by the author!

10 ( +22 / -12 )

It's possible that this rule goes against the constitution. However, for those in the know, written law tends to not have much relevancy when it comes to being enforced.

S

7 ( +11 / -4 )

why everyone is mentioning it is discrimination.

It is a world championship, so Japanese nationality can participate. How can someone who is not Japanese nationality be representing Japan?

If a foreigner has Japanese nationality than he or she may participate.

In China, US or any other country is the same.

I can not represent for a country if I don't have the nationality.

-10 ( +12 / -22 )

Me... got no problem with this. You need to be a Japanese Citizen, what is wrong with that? However, if there were a couple of really powerful foreign players living in Japan and they overtly changed the rule just to keep them out... well then I'd have a problem with that.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

It is a world championship, so Japanese nationality can participate. How can someone who is not Japanese nationality be representing Japan?

What would be the problem with a non-japanese representing Japan in that championship? Why doesn't a long-term resident count as a member of Japanese society?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Some things never change.

Is funny how Japan always gets the green flag when racism and xenofobia is involved.

Proof that years of propaganda for tourists and media really works.

All good.

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

Is funny how Japan always gets the green flag when racism and xenofobia is involved.

Who has given them the green flag?

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Do I hear "discrimination" ?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The franchise’s official website’s World Qualifying Points FAQ For North, Central, and South America Territories simply states that “Duelists must be legal residents of the territory they wish to represent and provide valid proof of residency.”

If these are the standards for the World Championships and the Japan tournament is a qualifier for those, how are the organizers of the Japan qualifiers able to violate the rules and set their own eligibility restrictions? Isn't it in the interests of the tournament as a whole that the best players get to compete and aren't subject to discriminatory rules that keep them out of their local qualifiers?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Ridiculous.

It should be Japanes citizens and foreign citizens who hold long terms visas and maintain a residencial address in Japan.

That would fulfull the objective and requirement.

Someone needs to get their head smacked.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Albert

Today 08:13 am JST

why everyone is mentioning it is discrimination.

> It is a world championship, so Japanese nationality can participate. How can someone who is not Japanese nationality be representing Japan?

> If a foreigner has Japanese nationality than he or she may participate.

> In China, US or any other country is the same.

> I can not represent for a country if I don't have the nationality.

Did you read the article?

Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, the Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship entry regulations are less strict. The franchise’s official website’s World Qualifying Points FAQ For North, Central, and South America Territories simply states that “Duelists must be legal residents of the territory they wish to represent and provide valid proof of residency.”

So if you had read the above from the article, your claim:

In China, US or any other country is the same.

Is clearly incorrect!

11 ( +15 / -4 )

What a stupid decision.

Should have asked for 1-year minimum visa then.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

A good journalist would have at least tried digging deeper by contacting the company and ask for an explanation, a reason for the rule!

This is a good point. These Soranews articles aren't journalism, they are just some guy reading things on Twitter and writing summaries of them. If it was just something on that guy's personal blog it'd be OK, but for something on a purported news site its incredibly lazy.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

I don't even know what this Yu-Gi-Oh happens to be but I do know Japan extremely well and I am totally shocked as this is so out of character for this country. NOT!

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Albert-

If a foreigner has Japanese nationality than he or she may participate.

That statement is illogical.

If a person has Japanese nationality, they are Japanese - not a "foreigner".

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Meanwhile Japan sends contestants to America's Got Talent and the Oscars let movies from any country win lol

11 ( +13 / -2 )

It's OK to be from Ukraine and become Miss Japan but you can't participate in some gaming tournament unless you are 100% Japanese. Ok...

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Their country..

Their rules..

Get used to it..

-21 ( +3 / -24 )

Is that any different than the National Sports teams?

1 ( +9 / -8 )

uaintseeme 

It's OK to be from Ukraine and become Miss Japan but you can't participate in some gaming tournament unless you are 100% Japanese. Ok...

She is Japanese.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

wallace

Today 11:05 am JST

Is that any different than the National Sports teams?

Well seeing Yu-Gi-Oh is from and owned by Konami a Japanese company and it sets the rules locally and internationally.

It seems they didn't set nationality as a prerequisite for any other country but Japan!

And that makes all the difference!

Had Konami made the rule all countries entries must be citizens of the represented country then no problem, but they didn't, the only country they made a citizenship rule for was Japan!

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Time for other countries and follow suit and ban non-citizens from their countries tournaments. Easy to make the playing field equal.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Is that any different than the National Sports teams?

A 5-year residency in Japan (used to be 3 years) permits a person to represent Japan in international rugby. Japanese nationality certainly is no requirement.

Not sure about all other Japanese sports, though.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

So it is a national championship

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Foreign born citizens with Japanese nationality can join!

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

for something on a purported news site its incredibly lazy.

As long as it gets clicks and outrage from the mob blaming an entire country for a rule made by some random person of an event they never heard of.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Paul

Today 01:25 pm JST

Foreign born citizens with Japanese nationality can join!

That isn't the point!

Konami owns and runs the game including the rights for international competitions.

So why did Konami include a nationality requirement only for Japan and not all the other countries participating?

If you don't find that strange or at least an interesting question the so-called journalist should have asked Konami?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

I would find it a very boring event.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I used to be surprised and indignant about such discrimination but now I just don't care.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I used to be surprised and indignant about such discrimination but now I just don't care.

The standards you walk past are the standards you tolarate. Personally, this blatant racism should be called out.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

have zero problem with this rule.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

The ruling is discrimination but not racist since it involves all non-Japanese, including other Asians. The white European foreigners are a very small group in Japan.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Personally, this blatant racism should be called out.

You go girl! In order to get standing try to sign up, get formally rejected in writing then get a lawyer and sue. Otherwise you are just spinning your wheels.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Time for other countries and follow suit and ban non-citizens from their countries tournaments. Easy to make the playing field equal.

Time for other countries and follow suit and ban Japanese participants from their countries tournaments. Easy to make the playing field equal.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

So, make all Japanese nationals banned from the world championships. Easy.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

wallace: "The ruling is discrimination but not racist since it involves all non-Japanese, including other Asians."

Nope. It's racist. Doesn't matter how you want to try and defend it, bud. It excludes people based on race, and therefore is racism.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

smithinjapan

wallace: "The ruling is discrimination but not racist since it involves all non-Japanese, including other Asians."

Nope. It's racist. Doesn't matter how you want to try and defend it, bud. It excludes people based on race, and therefore is racism.

How so? The ruling includes all races including Asians and Japanese are Asian. I'm not defending. To be racist one race excludes another race. But when they are the same race.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

It excludes people based on race

Set aside the fact that "Japanese" is not a race, but an ethnicity, it excludes people based on their citizenship.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

smithinjapan

Today 04:43 pm JST

So, make all Japanese nationals banned from the world championships. Easy.

Good luck with that!

Konami owns and runs the cards, tournaments both domestic and international!

And if someone here doesn't already know, Konami is a Japanese company!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

We see this kind of discrimination from time to time. I remember when HIS gave discounts on flights only if you had a Japanese passport. Maybe they still do, I dunno.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It is a world championship, so Japanese nationality can participate. How can someone who is not Japanese nationality be representing Japan?

This isn't a problem when it comes to rugby - about half the squad is foreign, so the answer to your question is "very easily".

I think that this is another example of Japan's persecution complex coming out and the shame at the prospect of another foreigner being better at Japanese things than they are.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Folks, cut it out with the "discrimination" nonsense.

It's the same as a national championships for any sport such as figure skating, track & field, speed skating, or whatever.

Every country has such sports competitions that involve only that country's citizens.

These Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments in Japan are specifically held to determine Japan's national champions.

So it makes entirely perfect sense to have them involve Japanese players only.

Stop screeching "discrimination" every time an event in Japan legitimately involves only Japanese people.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This coming September, Seattle will be the host city for the Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship.

However, for those aiming to win the Yu-Gi-Oh Japan Championship 2024, the competition pool isn’t actually every Yu-Gi-Oh player in Japan, as the rules expressly prohibit foreign residents of Japan from taking part in the tournament.

The former is a world championship. The latter is a national championship. Big difference.

There are world championships in sports such as speed skating and track & field.

But before they are held, there are national championships that involve only a given country's own citizens.

Again, stop the "discrimination" claims here.

It's not "discrimination" for Japan or any other country to hold a national competition involving its own citizens, to determine its national champions.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Quo - You're misunderstanding how this tournament is supposed to be run when you say:

Every country has such sports competitions that involve only that country's citizens.

From the article:

The franchise’s official website’s World Qualifying Points FAQ For North, Central, and South America Territories simply states that “Duelists must be legal residents of the territory they wish to represent and provide valid proof of residency.”

Elsewhere in the world, you participate in the tournament where you reside, not where you have nationality. The "nationals only" rule in Japan leaves non-nationals living in Japan with no way to participate anywhere.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is anyone actually surprised here?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Imagine kicking out all the Japanese baseball players from the two American Leagues.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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