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Record 832 foreigners in Japan lose residency status in 2018

65 Comments

A record 832 foreigners living in Japan were stripped of their residency status in 2018, more than double from the year before as the government tightens immigration regulations, authorities said Wednesday.

Almost 70 percent of the total consisted of "students" or "technical trainees" who ran afoul of the law by not following the requirements to retain their legal status, the Immigration Services Agency said.

Those who had their student status rescinded numbered 412, an increase from 172 in 2017, while 153 individuals had their technical trainee status revoked, up from eight in the year before.

There were 80 cases in which the spouse or child of Japanese nationals were deprived of their family member visas, including those who had received them through fake marriages.

In order of magnitude, half of those who lost their residency status were Vietnamese citizens. They were followed by 152 Chinese nationals, 62 Nepalese and 43 Filipinos.

While the Japanese government widened its doors to foreign workers in certain sectors by launching a new visa system in April, it has been trying to crack down on cases involving foreign students and technical trainees who disappeared to pursue activities other than originally stated.

The government revoked the status of student for those who had left school but remained working in Japan, according to the agency under the Justice Ministry.

Others included cases of foreign nationals who obtained their status under government-sponsored technical training programs but vanished from their registered workplace to work at another company.

The agency is also looking to clamp down on schools that register students on their roster despite knowing they are working, as well as recruiters and companies that mistreat technical trainees.

If stripped of their residency status, foreign nationals face deportation and can be detained at immigration facilities in Japan.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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There were 80 cases in which the spouse or child of Japanese nationals were deprived of their family member visas, including those who had received them through fake marriages.

Outside of the fake marriages, divorces between spouses, thus possibly losing the "spouse" visa, those I understand, but yet I am curious to know more details on how the children of Japanese nationals had their visas taken away.

Excuse me "deprived", different than "taken away" or "stripped", as deprived to me at least, means that their applications were rejected.

How and why, I would like to know!

0 ( +9 / -9 )

There were 80 cases in which the spouse or child of Japanese nationals were deprived of their family member visas, including those who had received them through fake marriages.

Another thing, not written here directly, but "assumed", is that these "children" of a Japanese national are presumed to have one parent that is not a Japanese citizen, as there is no way any other "children" of Japanese "nationals" would lose their visa, because they dont have one!

Why would a child of a Japanese national need a visa in the first place? They are Japanese. Unless of course they made the choice to NOT take their Japanese citizenship, thus living here as a foreigner and NOT as a Japanese citizen, making them the same as any other foreigner in country, having to follow the immigration laws and having a residence status.

Which also means that the paragraph here is seriously LACKING in pertinent information,

7 ( +13 / -6 )

they should all get their status stripped if they don't follow the law. that's what the law is for...not to be flaunted but to be followed.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

No surprise exercise

4 ( +4 / -0 )

fake marriages.

Oh they should check around Roppongi for those.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Almost 70 percent of the total consisted of "students" or "technical trainees" who ran afoul of the law by not following the requirements to retain their legal status, the Immigration Services Agency said.

Basically, these 70 percent found out that, in practice, "technical trainee" in Japan is a euphemism for slave laborer.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

I am not sure how many of these cases would be affected, but Japan needs more visa options. As with Yubaru I am dumbfounded that a child of a Japanese National could possibly lose their visa or not just be handed citizenship. But I note there is no parent of Japanese National visa, which is madness, and sends foreign parents scrambling for other options in the event of divorce or death of the Japanese spouse. I wonder if any parents went for student or trainee visas?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I am pretty sure that the "Child or Spouse of a Japanese National" is considered one residency status. So 80 people who were either a child or a spouse, but i bet that all 80 of them were here as a 'spouse'

Last time i was on the bus heading to the hell-hole in Shinagawa, i remember an older Japanese man with his (newly wed?) slavic wife, they were posing for pictures to be used as evidence of a real relationship for their marriage visa. Did they just marry 30 minutes earlier? how do you not have enough pics for that?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I am not sure how many of these cases would be affected, but Japan needs more visa options.

more visa options? the fact that there,s no more visa options is what makes Japan, Japan.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Norman, once you are married to a Japanese spouse, and especially if you have children, you can apply for permanent residency (which reminds me, i should do that!)

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Good to hear that the Japanese government is stepping up their game, now they should speed up the procedure and deport these people as quickly as possible instead of putting them in detention facilities indefinitely.

but Japan needs more visa options.

I disagree, that would mean there would be more ways to abuse the system and it is already hard enough to detect certain things like fake marriages.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

"foreign nationals ...can be detained at immigration facilities in Japan."

I assume they are also detaining the managers and owners of the agencies that are complicit in the scams. Just kidding.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

They are hiding actual numbers, and the reasons as well are not satisfying. I saw this news on Nikkei shinbun. I think the cases are double , triple then that number written in this post in the behalf of international student. If you want to know more about this. Ask to the vocational school or university students with majority of international students.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I disagree, that would mean there would be more ways to abuse the system

Fewer fair options simply means more REASONS to abuse the system. People have a tendency to not be fair with those who are unfair and its no mystery why.

you can apply for permanent residency (which reminds me, i should do that!)

You can apply but it does not mean you will get it. And if anything happens in the inter-rim you will be seeking other options.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I agree with japanese rules but not regulation. Somehow they giving a chance who overwork. The government and immigration can’t regulating . If they want to giving chances to somebody its not fare rule, why are they discriminating ? If your’s rule is perfect then regulate your rules. Why you giving some chances to student or trainee. Government should go yes or no , why medium way ? I am not happy and no surprise regarding reading this news and government policy. Either they ruling 100% nor rejecting who doing overwork. There is not clear vision ethically of japanese government.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Could "Child of a Japanese National" be a 45 year old born and raised elsewhere? Is there a special visa for those people, so that they can look after aging family, etc?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Well, this is very interesting, as someone who is looking to move to Japan. And I’m going to do it via the JESP program, because I heard a lot of good things about it, by people who worked in Japan themselves. And yes, I know that it’s a language school that I would be going to, with part time work on the side. But hey, you got to start somewhere right?

This will obviously get me to pay much closer attention as to what ALL the visa requirements are, so that way I don’t, heaven forbid, end up in the same boat as these people.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If stripped of their residency status, foreign nationals face deportation and can be detained at immigration facilities in Japan.

Good. Time to touch on those with SPR in the same manner, especially the ones with criminal records.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

afanofjapanToday  09:17 am JST

Norman, once you are married to a Japanese spouse, and especially if you have children, you can apply for permanent residency (which reminds me, i should do that!)

You don't need to be married to a Japanese or have a children to be eligible for permanent resident. If you are highly skilled and get enough points (salary,education,language ability, ...) you can get PR after only a year in Japan. Anyway if you plan to stay, you should apply. It takes quite a bit of time to be processed (6+ months)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There were 80 cases in which the spouse or child of Japanese nationals were deprived of their family member visas

I highly doubt there were any children who lost their status. The official name of the visa category in question is "Spouse or Child of a Japanese National", so that's probably the only reason 'child' appears in the story.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I wasn't going to comment but...

After all I've seen, I would prefer to give my children dual citizenship than making them live in Japan with any kind of visa.

Absolutely anything can happen in the future and you can even get your seemingly untouchable 永住権 perm residency and your decades-long life in Japan in a blink of an eye.

1 example:

Japanese salarymen working away from the family (単身赴任) = pretty normal, erai erai

Foreigner working away from the family for a couple of months = very suspicious, probably fake marriage etc...

10 ( +11 / -1 )

They need to crack down more on the people getting these visas. They also need to crack down on companies hiring foreigners and cheating them on their hours and avoiding the health insurance program. Most English schools are bad about that. Most of them are black companies.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Sayonara..

0 ( +5 / -5 )

working trainees should have the legal option of switching companies. This might reward good employers and help them leave bad ones

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The immigration office has laws to follow and... its moods and its secret practices. People with rights to - like others - get refused their applications just because for that year/month the planned number of visas has just been released so they find any possible reason to refuse it. A child of a national Japanese may have his/her Japanese parent lost/dead with only the foreigner remaining. Not all the families are a paradise situations: if the child is under 18 year he/she is not Japanese and will still need a guarantor and a residency in Japan (not to mention money). I have been here twenty years, divorced the year I was planning to get the permanent visa and my economic and working situation has not changed, yet after changing the status, now I have to renew it every year, while before (in the same situation) I had it for 3 and 5 years. I repeat: nothing has changed in my work situation. Working trainee also is a sort of job. If the individual find a different solution he should be able to change the visa without problems.

Illegal stays, on the other side, are a different chapter and they should and are handled as they should.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I totally agree with 'finally rich' opinion...

Thanks god I have no kids...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A child of a national Japanese may have his/her Japanese parent lost/dead with only the foreigner remaining.

Read what you wrote! A child of a "Japanese" national! Means that they are Japanese citizens! A child HAS dual citizenship here until they become of age! That is the LAW!

CHILDREN who are Japanese have NO VISA STATUS!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

child of Japanese nationals were deprived of their family member visas

Unless you’re Naomi Osaka, even though you didn’t grow up here, don’t live here and don’t speak the language.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

taj

Could "Child of a Japanese National" be a 45 year old born and raised elsewhere? Is there a special visa for those people, so that they can look after aging family, etc?

A Japanese person can adopt you as their child (普通養子), no matter what your age. Question is, would this make you eligible for the child or spouse visa? Not sure, but i guess so? It isnt the easiest thing to do though (paperwork, and also informing your real parents), probably easier to find you a desperate middle aged woman to marry for that visa

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If you overstay or are engaged in something that is not covered by your visa status, the government has the right to revoke your visa. Those involved in sham marriages could also lose their (permanent?) visa status, but some concession needs to be made on humanitarian grounds for the children of such marriages who wish to stay with their Japanese parent.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

People wondering how a child of a Japanese can lose its visa....

Guys this is just the name of this Visa that puts foreigner spouses and children in the same category for convenience purposes.. I have yet to see a child of a Japanese national (born overseas or in Japan) without Japanese nationality....... besides children in Japan can hold 2 or more nationalities so what's the point of being child of a japanese in Japan with only a foreigner nationality?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Roger Jolly, “A child of a national Japanese may have his/her Japanese parent lost/dead with only the foreigner remaining. ...if the child is under 18 year he/she is not Japanese and will still need a guarantor and a residency in Japan”

I don’t think that’s correct. If the birth of a child born to a Japanese parent (mother or father) is properly registered with Japanese authorities (either in Japan or abroad) the child will have Japanese nationality, will not need a visa to be in Japan, and will not lose the Japanese nationality even upon the death of the Japanese parent. Obviously an underage orphan will need a guardian.

If the birth was not properly registered it’s possible that a child of a Japanese wouldn’t have Japanese nationality. Note, as we have seen in past articles on this site and elsewhere, that even a child born in Japan of two Japanese parents can be stateless if their birth was not registered.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Child of a Japanese National" means exactly that... Someone who is born to a Japanese National, but also no longer has Japanese citizenship. My wife, after living in the US for 25 years became a US citizen. When returning to Japan to help her aging parents the consulate performed rigorous checks and declared she was no longer a Japanese citizen. (A sad day, but that's the Japanese law as it stands now. If we could get that dual citizenship fixed in Japan it would be terrific, but that's another article.)

Anyway, she obtained a visa: "Child of a Japanese National". As her spouse I obtained a visa: "Long Term Resident"

If our marriage was a fraud the government would void both visas and send us packing. (30 years of marriage is anything but a fraud though, so I think we're okay! We both have permanent residence now.)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

PS: An example of what I mentioned is that some foreign parents who do not have a spousal visa because of divorce or death, have special provision to live in Japan to raise their Japanese citizen children. The children obviously didn’t lose their citizenship when their Japanese parent died or divorced their foreign spouse. Can’t remember what it’s called at the moment and don’t have time to research it but I personally knew a couple of women who were in that situation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In Japan there is the tradition of adult child adoption, often connected to omiai, going back to the old days when it was a way of keeping families alive where there were no heirs.

Now there are matchmaking companies that recruit voluntary adoptees for Japanese corporations.

I have no idea if the system is being abused but 98% of "adoptions" are actually adult men, aged between 20-30 years old, see 'Sons and Lovers: Adoption in Japan" by Taimie L. Bryant for The American Journal of Comparative Law. 

Is it being used to import toy boys and workers/younger lovers from Asia?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

they should all get their status stripped if they don't follow the law. that's what the law is for...not to be flaunted but to be followed.

Can you imagine the backlash and outcries of racism and white supremacy if people said the same thing in regards to America?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Child of a Japanese National" means exactly that... 

Well it does and it doesn't. You're presenting "child of a Japanese national" as the entire phrase, which is not the context in which it was reported.

Despite your explanation, other commenters are correct to link the wording in the article, "spouse or child of Japanese national", to the visa that uses almost exactly that wording in application forms, as here:

http://www.moj.go.jp/content/001290114.pdf

and near-identical wording on the actual visa issued, which reads (in caps), Category: "(S) as spouse, child of Japanese national"

The only time the MOJ seems to separate it to just "spouse", if you look at the PDF, is when they give it as an example for a person who might make the application. The category of application and the visa officially uses the full phrase.

Reports given in JT rarely do anything in the way of interpreting data, and a news agency like Kyodo doesn't either. If they receive official figures, they pass them along without explanation, even when it would provide needed clarity. This is either through ignorance or timidity. Therefore it often helps with news stories to do a bit of reading between the lines rather than, as some commenters are apt to do, jumping on a phrase (often translated, in any case) and refusing to deviate from an absolutely literal interpretation of it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

For all the comments about children, the spouse or child of Japanese nationals is the visa for foreigners who married a Japanese citizen or if there was child over 20 that chose the foreign parents country for citizenship. A child born in Japan from an international couple is a Japanese citizen and doesn't have a visa, they are a citizen of Japan until they are 20. At 20 they can decide if they want to be a citizen of the foreign parents home country. Then they will loose their Japanese citizenship. Japan doesn't allow dual citizenship. The 80+ cases are most likely going to be the fake marriage people.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Can you imagine the backlash and outcries of racism and white supremacy if people said the same thing in regards to America?

Anyone who claims racism and white supremacy because of deported people breaking the law would just be uneducated useless people who don't understand how the law works. Usually known as SJWs.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

At 20 they can decide if they want to be a citizen of the foreign parents home country. Then they will loose their Japanese citizenship. Japan doesn't allow dual citizenship.

It would be more accurate to say that at a specified age, they are offered the opportunity to give up their Japanese nationality. That's a better description of what the procedure involves and how it is structured. There's some sinister intent behind it, but if handled properly, it's just bark with no bite.

When you say these children "can decide if they want to be" a citizen of the foreign parent's home country, I don't think it conveys the situation very well. Generally they already possess a foreign nationality (although in reality, the situation can be rather more complicated than that) along with their Japanese nationality, and after registering their decision to choose Japanese, they still possess that nationality.

You say that Japan doesn't allow dual citizenship, yet it puts people through this official performance and, for those who just chose Japanese nationality, it is a dual national who walks out the door...

Provided you made the right choice, not to give up your Japan nationality, the whole thing amounted to a bit of hocus pocus.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

That's how Trump started out, now look where he is now on 'illegal immigrates'

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I am curious to know more details on how the children of Japanese nationals had their visas taken away.

Was scratching my head about that too. Afaik, it is only possible if these "children of Japanese nationals" did not have Japanese nationality, i.e. they either came with the non-japanese parent and were not biological children, or if they refused Japanese nationality at birth.

If they have Japanese nationality, they do not need a visa in the first place, so there is nothing to remove...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Can you imagine the backlash and outcries of racism and white supremacy if people said the same thing in regards to America?

Yes, or Europe. And that is the reason that Japan will remain Japan, while the population replacement in the US and Europe means these civilizations have no future. Japan has common sense and the will to survive, the US and (Western) Europe have globalist ideology and PC.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Question: What is the legal residency status of a foreigner (US citizen) who is married to a foreigner with permanent residency status due to previously being married to a Japanese citizen, but now divorced? Can the US citizen obtain a legal residency status, and what type?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Yubaru

Outside of the fake marriages, divorces between spouses, thus possibly losing the "spouse" visa, those I understand, but yet I am curious to know more details on how the children of Japanese nationals had their visas taken away.

"Child or spouse of a Japanese national" is a Japanese visa category. It's entirely possible that 100% of those who lost their visas were spouses but that the available statistics didn't provide any further granularity beyond visa category.

Why would a child of a Japanese national need a visa in the first place? They are Japanese. Unless of course they made the choice to NOT take their Japanese citizenship, thus living here as a foreigner and NOT as a Japanese citizen, making them the same as any other foreigner in country, having to follow the immigration laws and having a residence status.

They would need a visa if they were adopted and had no Japanese biological parents, or if they had foregone their Japanese citizenship. "Child or spouse of a Japanese national" is a residence status.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Tom Johnston

> Question: What is the legal residency status of a foreigner (US citizen) who is married to a foreigner with permanent residency status due to previously being married to a Japanese citizen, but now divorced? Can the US citizen obtain a legal residency status, and what type?

His or her legal residency status should be "short term resident" from the onset. The spouse being a foreigner and a holder of a permanent resident status could guarantee in the interest of one's husband or wife just like any Japanese national, assuming he or she has a means to support. If the relationship goes smoothly, the US citizen can apply for a "Change of Residency" in about 3 years as a "long term resident" and eventually after 5 years, can apply for another "Change of Residency" as a "permanent resident". That's it!

In general, majority of foreigners married to Japanese nationals or not, who wish to reside here for the rest of their lives are being contented as permanent residents, but for those who choose to embrace the Japanese tradition and its society more than their own,

goes beyond the norm and renounces their citizenship to become a Japanese nationals, which is not as easy as most of us think of, to acquire.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You say that Japan doesn't allow dual citizenship, yet it puts people through this official performance and, for those who just chose Japanese nationality, it is a dual national who walks out the door...

Once the person decides to chose to retain their Japanese nationality, they have to give up the passport of the other country and relinquish the the citizenship. If they don't then Japan will automatically revoke their Japanese citizenship. So no they won't be able to be a dual citizen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@wipeout

As for your "more accurate" description, you literally made the same points with different words. Congratulations, you did a great job of giving the same description. Although the bottom portion was just misinformation.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Once the person decides to chose to retain their Japanese nationality, they have to give up the passport of the other country and relinquish the the citizenship. 

Yes well you really don't understand this at all.

First you've confused "nationality" with "passport". Then you've misunderstood what "have to" means. The Japanese authorities cannot compel a person with a foreign nationality to give up that nationality. They have no control and no rights in that area. Therefore you don't actually have to give it up; you are, however, still subject, as a Japanese national, to the Japan Nationality Law. Consequently, what it actually says, and whether it is enforced, and how it is enforced are the real issue.

Back to passport vs. nationality. A child born to a Japanese parent and a foreign parent (and let's assume the child was born in Japan) is likely to possess a foreign nationality in addition to Japanese nationality. As with everything I say here, the whole picture is a little muddier even than that, but it's better not to get totally bogged down in the details or cover every possible eventuality.

How they possess that foreign nationality varies. Some have their birth registered with the foreign embassy or consulate. Other countries do not require it at all. My country, Britain, is one such example. In the latter case, the foreign country in effect automatically accepts the nationality rights of the child. At the same time, it has no way of being aware of that child's existence, because the birth hasn't been registered. And the child, all the way into adulthood, may not know they have that foreign nationality either. In fact, by answering yes to two questions here,

https://www.gov.uk/check-british-citizenship

such a child will be shown this answer. "You might automatically be a British citizen depending on when you were born and your parents’ circumstances at the time."

Notice the word "automatically". I'm telling you all this to show that it's actually quite easy to have foreign nationality without even knowing it. It is also common. A person may have been born outside Britain, gone to school, grown up, even married and raised children abroad, without ever realizing that they still had British nationality, and certainly without ever possessing a British passport - the passport you say they must give up.

To clarify what a passport is, it's a travel document. It proves your identity and additionally it's proof of nationality of the issuing country. It can be lost, stolen, expired, or stamped until it's full. When any of these happens, you don't actually have to get a new one. You don't ever have to have possessed one in the first place. Many people don't.

When any of the things above happens to your passport, your nationality is unaffected. This is why it is not useful to simply interchange the two words as if they are the same thing. The difference, in terms of nationality laws, is crucial.

And coming back to the original question, of whether a person can really be a dual national here in Japan, the truth is yes they certainly can, because by not opting to give up Japanese nationality at adulthood, they remain Japanese for life, and they don't actually have to do anything at all about the other nationality.

You can try quoting the Nationality Law at me, but it won't get you anywhere. Don't imagine I'm not aware of what it says and how it says it.

Congratulations, you did a great job of giving the same description.

And yet with supposedly the same description, I'm not the one confused by Japanese people with dual nationality. You should look into your claim of "automatic" revocation. It's bunk, and it's not even what the law says anyway. You should also look into the procedures required to give up (non-Japanese) nationality - obviously, varying by country - the costs involved, and consider some other reasons why they might not do it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japanese government under the Nationality Law does have the right to cancel the Japanese citizenship of an adult with dual nationality. They have no power to cancel the nationality of any other country.

I have never heard of a Japanese having their citizenship cancelled until the above post by flacteMna

The fact is I think, mostly the government ignores the problem of dual nationality because the actual numbers are not that great. But the power of the Nationality Law remains in place.

People can exist in these grey areas for their entire life but can become complicated further when they have their own children.

Passports have to be renewed.

Renewing a passport from a country which accepts dual nationality, America/Britain isn't a problem. Renewing a Japanese one could be a problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So a person could end up with many citizenships/passports.

A child born to a Japanese mother and British father could be Japanese and British.

If the child was born in America (or other birthright country) then they would also be American.

If one of the parents or grandparents of the father were Irish the child could also apply for Irish citizenship. If the mother of the father, or a grandparent, was also French/German/Italian, they too are added to the list.

There's no international law on the number of passports a person can hold.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The fact is I think, mostly the government ignores the problem of dual nationality because the actual numbers are not that great. But the power of the Nationality Law remains in place.

Acknowledged. However, it should be pointed out that the Nationality Law says different things about those who naturalize with a foreign citizenship, and those who had dual nationality by birth to a foreign parent. I'm specifically concentrating on those dual nationals who grow up and have to formally declare a choice of nationality, and what happens after they do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The fact is I think, mostly the government ignores the problem of dual nationality because the actual numbers are not that great.

I would say that they also ignore it because nowhere in the Nationality Law do they say that it is forbidden or illegal to be a dual national. That alone makes it somewhere between very hard and impossible to "crack down" on dual nationals. If you throw in the fact that someone can, unknown to themselves, be a national of a foreign country while believing themselves to be only Japanese, it gets even more complicated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After some digging around there are no precise numbers but the government believes are about 400,000 Japanese who have dual citizenships.

Like in Britain, Japan can cancel a citizenship. In Britain it can be cancelled provided it does not leave the person stateless, as with the case of "Jihadi Jack" who also had Canadian citizenship.

You must hold the passport of the country you hold citizenship of. Dual Japanese-America. Show both at airline counter in Japan. Show Japanese one to exit. Show American one to enter.

It's expensive enough just paying for a British passport. I'm entitled to an Irish one but haven't applied. But with Brexit?

I guess a Japanese born into dual nationality obtains citizenship and passports of both. Declares at 20-22 years to "endeavor" to give up the foreign citizenship, and then continues with both again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would say that they also ignore it because nowhere in the Nationality Law do they say that it is forbidden or illegal to be a dual national.

I would say Article 20 does since it states the maximum punishment for any person who has made a false notification when filing a notification.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would say Article 20 does since it states the maximum punishment for any person who has made a false notification when filing a notification.

You lost me. I am unable to interpret Article 20, if you're talking about the following, as forbidding dual nationality or making it illegal.

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

This is Article 20: Any person who has made a false notification when filing a notification pursuant to the provision of Article 3, paragraph 1 shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than one year or a fine of not more than 200,000 yen.

Obviously we need to know what Article 3 para. 1 says.

A child (excluding a child who was once a Japanese national) under twenty years of age whose father or mother has acknowledged paternity or maternity respectively , may acquire Japanese nationality through a notification to the Minister of Justice, if the father or mother who made the acknowledgement was a Japanese national at the time of the child's birth, and such father or mother is presently a Japanese national or was a Japanese national at the time of his or her death.

I interpret Article 20 as saying that if someone under 20 years of age acquires Japanese nationality (based on the specific circumstances mentioned in 3.1) under false pretences, they are subject to punishment.

This is so far from being a statement that dual nationality is illegal or otherwise forbidden that I have to wonder if we're both referring to the same part of the same document. Can you clarify?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wipeout

I'm not a lawyer, so if you have an actual legal situation, such as your own children, then you need to seek the proper legal advice.

Japan does not recognise or accept dual nationality although i've never heard of anyone being prosecuted over it but there is the above post about a J-wife losing their Japanese citizenship?

I think I can accept your interpretation of Article 20.

but then

"Under the revisions made to the Nationality Law in 1985, Articles 14 and 15 require any person who holds multiple citizenship to make a "declaration of choice" between the ages of 20 and 22, in which they choose to renounce either their Japanese nationality or their foreign citizenship(s). Failure to do so entitles the Minister of Justice to demand a declaration of choice at any time. If the required declaration is not made within one month, their Japanese nationality is automatically revoked. A renunciation of foreign citizenship made before Japanese officials may be considered by a foreign state as having no legal effect as is the case with, for example, United States citizenship"

i think we can accept that dual nationality is not allowed but then people are still doing it because there are no prosecutions.

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Okay, but what I'm trying to say is that if you read through the Nationality Law, and mercifully it's not especially long or complicated, there isn't anything in there that explicitly forbids dual nationality for adult Japanese. I think it's an important point. It's also the point made (earlier and better) by William Wetherall, who wrote a very extensive and detailed analysis of this law, all of the important words involved (such as "endeavour" to give up foreign nationality), what the law signifies, and how it works.

People always return to discussing the declaration of choice. No one, including me, denies that this is a legal requirement. But it's more a matter of what it involves, and what happens afterwards. There are various ways of considering it, depending on your point of view. I have come to view it as a bit of theatre, with the intention of reinforcing the idea that dual nationality is not permitted, without actually being something that makes that in any way the reality. It does however contain a booby trap, which is the provision of an opportunity for a person to give up their Japanese citizenship, basically on the spot. And by being legally required to participate, it means that dual nationals can't really shirk being presented with that opportunity. In that sense, it's rather discriminatory, because other Japanese are not required to do this. Additional problems are that it's kind of irrevocable, and it's entirely possible to make the "wrong" choice - one that might be deeply regretted later - under a misapprehension. That's the trap. The sweet part, from the MOJ point of view, is that the actual decision to relinquish Japanese citizenship, if such a decision is made by the applicant, is legally and technically voluntary. It is the decision of the applicant, and in no way the decision of the MOJ, even if that person was not in full possession of the facts or fully aware of their rights.

Now despite all that, if I wanted to be positive about it, an alternative way to view this little show, provided those involved have the requisite knowledge of their rights, would be to consider it as an opportunity to formally declare and reinforce your Japanese citizenship. Once made and filed, it means nothing in terms of the other nationality, and nothing further needs to be done concerning either.

(However, the dual national does need to be aware of their obligations towards each nationality, which can also vary depending on which territory they are in, but that was true before the declaration date too. For example, a Japanese/British dual national is legally an adult in Britain from the age of 18, and will be treated as British and an adult if they commit a crime.)

What I basically refuse to accept about the declaration of choice, unless new information comes my way, is that it's a legal requirement to choose one nationality and give up the other. Many people disagree, and in that respect, this law has been an amazingly successful bit of propaganda that has the majority of people believing that dual nationality is "not allowed", and that people who retain it - sports stars are often discussed in this respect - are breaking the law.

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i think we can accept that dual nationality is not allowed but then people are still doing it because there are no prosecutions.

As I unintentionally started my comment off by appearing to agree with this statement, I should emphasize here that I do not.

Specifically, I do not accept that "dual nationality is not allowed". And unless there is a law that explicitly states it is not allowed, I'll stand by that. And for those who would say Japan does not officially "recognize" dual nationality, that comes out to the same thing as treating its own citizens as Japanese. In other words, an Australian/Japanese dual national who commits a crime in Japan will be treated as Japanese, not Australian, and will not be considered to have the consular rights of a foreign national. This sounds very much the same as what happens to dual nationals in countries that do recognize dual nationality. One nationality cannot be used to trump another.

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The renewal of visas for foreign residents is done solely on discretionary power of Justice Ministry and outside the Constitution of Japan. The relevant Court or judicial precedent rulings clearly mention this , as having a child or Japanese spouse living in Japan even in genuine marriage isn’t a guarantee of resident status extension. Japan’s legal system isn’t a rigid system but a flexible and often arbitrary system.Its a country with “Daimyo”Lords type medieval and archaic legal system of confessions by hostage, coercion and mental torture used to convict someone and disregarding factual evidences and unfair trials. How can you compare US or European or advanced or actual democratic system with rule of law and free media to compare with medieval Japanese laws and vague visa system. Permanent residency and even Japanese nationality being cancelled and revoked isn’t uncommon.

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Just like other people mentioned, 'spouse or child of Japanese national' is a single status worded like this in the certificate of eligibility, that's why it was mentioned like this in the article. We can only guess, but most, if not all, of those people are likely to have been spouses. As for children, there can be adopted children living with this status in Japan still as foreigners, and there can be biological children who were not assigned with Japanese nationality at birth, for example, if born outside Japan. Also, I know cases when, let's say, a foreign mother goes to a consulate of her country in Japan and applies for her to child to have the same nationality as her, then she returns to her country, and several years later, when the Japanese passport of her child expires, she goes to renew it and learns that her child is no longer a Japanese national, because the loss of Japanese nationality happens automatically when the mother's nationality is assigned to the child. Assigned here means that there is a procedure of application for nationalty, which is opposite to automatic assignation which requires no special procedure. I understand that if a Japanese father then would like his family to live with him, the child who lost the Japanese nationality would have this status.

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Companies and schools should also shoulder the blame. They need to constantly prompt and remind these workers to renew paperwork and not just be complacent about it.

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The renewal of visas for foreign residents is done solely on discretionary power of Justice Ministry and outside the Constitution of Japan. The relevant Court or judicial precedent rulings clearly mention this , as having a child or Japanese spouse living in Japan even in genuine marriage isn’t a guarantee of resident status extension. Japan’s legal system isn’t a rigid system but a flexible and often arbitrary system.Its a country with “Daimyo”Lords type medieval and archaic legal system of confessions by hostage, coercion and mental torture used to convict someone and disregarding factual evidences and unfair trials. How can you compare US or European or advanced or actual democratic system with rule of law and free media to compare with medieval Japanese laws and vague visa system.

I could compare it this way. This year, Britain prevented two of its nationals from entering the country and rescinded their nationality, despite the fact that they were born and spent their lives in England. It didn't charge them with any crime; it didn't even accuse them of specific crimes. These are decisions that were made by the Home Secretary (the equivalent of Japan's Minister of Justice)

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and they may in fact be unlawful. But mounting a legal challenge from outside the country is difficult.

These decisions are not only questionable in terms of the two people affected (Shamima Begum, Jack Letts), and for citizen's rights in general, but were applied at the displeasure of two other countries (Bangladesh, Canada), neither of which was directly involved, neither of which was able to influence the movements of these people, and neither of which had any dealings with them.

Bangladesh and Canada are now forced to handle their cases on the grounds that they cannot, even if they wanted to, simply do what Britain did and withdraw nationality, as it would now render those people stateless. Britain has deemed them dangerous - made a public statement to that effect - and then pushed them - its own citizens, though technically no longer so - off onto somebody else.

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Also, I know cases when, let's say, a foreign mother goes to a consulate of her country in Japan and applies for her to child to have the same nationality as her, then she returns to her country, and several years later, when the Japanese passport of her child expires, she goes to renew it and learns that her child is no longer a Japanese national, because the loss of Japanese nationality happens automatically when the mother's nationality is assigned to the child.

I think you'd need to explain further how that one works. Loss of nationality is done in accordance with the Japan Nationality Law, which is followed to the letter, and under the current law, I don't see a provision for that to happen.

The closest to it would be covered by the opening sentence of section 11. "A Japanese national shall lose Japanese nationality when he or she acquires a foreign nationality by his or her own choice."

This is the part of the law under which Japanese adults who naturalize with a non-Japanese nationality have their Japan nationality revoked. The crucial wording in the above is "by his or her own choice". You don't mention the age of the child, but from the context in your description, I am assuming you mean pre-adult rather than simply "offspring of parent", and there you have the import of the words "own choice". If your parent is doing it on your behalf, it is the parent making the choice; the child is not considered legally competent to do so.

The credibility of your account rests on that: either the law supports what you describe (in which case, fee free to point out the relevant section), or what you describe did not happen as you describe it. What is not credible is - words like medieval and archaic aside - that the law was interpreted merely at the whim of some nobody in a consulate somewhere. A child with Japanese nationality doesn't lose it as easily as that.

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