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Should permanent foreign residents in Japan have the right to vote?

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It's up to the individual in my opinion.

I voted yes, because I think that people with PR should at least have a say in their local elections, things that affect them locally are important to many and many feel frustrated with the system and have no voice because they can not vote. They follow the same laws as citizens, pay taxes, and for most have invested quite a lot into living here.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

I agree with Yubaru. They should be able to vote in local elections. They pay taxes after all.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Absolutely yes..No taxation without representation.

I have no issue with it being strict or requiring a rigorous level of entry, for example, not only you have to have PR but have been here for X number of years and be able to show that Japan is your main base, employed here, living here, savings here, have a vested interest and so on, I actually think the country I'm from gives voting rights and residency too easily.

Its interesting this topic comes up in discussions with workmates time to time, usually they have no idea Japan doesn't have duel citizenship and assume I already have it, and then are even more surprised that I can't vote, except some limited local participation after getting permanent residence.

What is more worrying is that I usually know more of what is happening with politics and law they do.

My feeling it that Japan's reluctance isn't to disallow someone "like me", that it is from a fear of the larger amount of potential residents from some closer countries and the influence that it might have... though, Japan's face will change, as has that of my home country, the government members show a wonderful mix of ethnicities, and for the most part that isn't a bad thing.

To those who disagree, please consider the real human aspect of this, like many people its very likely I will live the rest of my life in Japan, I am heavily invested in Japan, both through work, family and financially. Should I go on paying taxes, pension, city tax, and a lot of them, for the next 50 years and not have any say about education for my children for example, or local works in the community I live and own a house in, or perhaps more importantly the direction of the country as it applies to peace and prosperity?

12 ( +16 / -4 )

To those who disagree, please consider the real human aspect of this, like many people its very likely I will live the rest of my life in Japan, I am heavily invested in Japan, both through work, family and financially. Should I go on paying taxes, pension, city tax, and a lot of them, for the next 50 years and not have any say about education for my children for example, or local works in the community I live and own a house in, or perhaps more importantly the direction of the country as it applies to peace and prosperity?

If you are more than likely going to be here for the rest of your life, have you considered becoming a Japanese citizen?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

If Japan didn't require me to renounce my other citizenship I would have already applied.

I know many people do manage to have two even though Japan has this requirement, however I want to live with in the law and hope that this will change in the future and for example my own children won't be forced to choose.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Why would you vote no to this? I would like to hear from those people.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

I certainly agree we PR citizens should have the right to vote but... for WHO ???

10 ( +12 / -2 )

No. If someone wants to vote, they should take Japanese citizenship. We have a clear choice, Japanese or other. The fact that we choose other shows that our primary interests are not Japan, but rather with another country. Letting people vote on the future of a country, when their primary interest is not that country, is not in the best interests of that country. Sure I would like to be able to vote, but I don't think that would be a good move on the part of Japan.

-12 ( +15 / -27 )

Are there any countries that allow non-citizen permanent residents the right to vote? To my knowledge there are none, but I think all countries should give permanent residents that right.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

No. Japan is for "Japanese". Permanent Foreign Residents are still "foreigners" no matter how you look at it.

-27 ( +12 / -39 )

No. Japan is for "Japanese". Permanent Foreign Residents are still "foreigners" no matter how you look at it.

I agree. If people want to vote, they can take Japanese citizenship and do so. It's not like we have a route denied to us, they just require someone to jump both feet in before they allow it - and that's entirely reasonable.

To those who disagree, please consider the real human aspect of this, like many people its very likely I will live the rest of my life in Japan, I am heavily invested in Japan, both through work, family and financially. Should I go on paying taxes, pension, city tax, and a lot of them, for the next 50 years and not have any say about education for my children for example, or local works in the community I live and own a house in, or perhaps more importantly the direction of the country as it applies to peace and prosperity?

They why don't you take Japanese citizenship? If you are unwilling to do so, why would you expect Japan would give you the right to vote when you aren't willing to fully commit to the country?

To me, wanting the right to vote, while not taking citizenship, is like someone who wants to get married, but still be allowed to play around with other people.

-13 ( +9 / -22 )

I think Japan should allow dual as well, then I would likely also have it.

About the only people from western countries that would give up their passport are yanks but that's only because of the way they get taxed while living abroad.

IF Japan wants immigrants, Japan needs to make itself more attractive, simple as that & look to prosper in the future, not really cutting unfortunately the last several decades.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Interesting question. I am sure most readers here that are not Japanese citizens and that are long-term residents of Japan will likely vote yes.

I, on the other hand, voted no and do not think it is appropriate for permanent residents to have the right to vote. I understand the arguments for giving long-term permanent residents the right to vote, particularly in local elections.

However, I am a little old school in this regard. Being a citizen of a country carries with it many responsibilities, but it also carries with it the right to participate in the political process. Conversely, a non-citizen that has the right to vote is given the privilege of voting but may be exempted from the responsibilities associated with being a citizen and, therefore, may actually be in a "better" position than a citizen.

The arguments that are made regarding being a long-term resident and paying taxes and therefore having "earned" the right to vote, particularly at a local level, resonate. However, no matter how long one lives in Japan, no matter how much one pays in taxes, and no matter how much one may care for their long-term home, not seeking Japanese citizenship implies that one does not fully intend to commit to being a part of Japan. It implies that at some point, one may return to their country of citizenship. It also could lead many to believe that they may not share the same goals as citizens.

Some argue that because the hurdle of becoming a Japanese citizen is so high, it isn't even an option, even for those that might ultimately consider becoming a citizen. And, therefore, long-term permanent residents should be given some of the rights of citizens even if they aren't citizens. Again, I can understand the frustration of those that may have sought Japanese citizenship and/or have found the hurdles too high. However, I believe the vast majority of long-term permanent residents in Japan choose not to pursue Japanese citizenship because they do not want to give up their original citizenship, whether for loyalty reasons or for matter of convenience or otherwise. And, as such, while they may be fully invested in Japan and life in Japan, they are not willing to take the step that would given them voting rights.

I understand that many would argue that this is dated thinking in this internationalised world where many have dual citizenship. Nevertheless, I believe it is still valid. Others will disagree and clearly other commenters have shown their views otherwise. And I respect those views. It is just that I believe that voting rights, at all levels of government, is a right that should be reserved for the citizens of a country.

Now, as to the question of Japan permitting dual citizenship for those not born Japanese citizens and, therefore, permitting voting rights for those that hold citizenship elsewhere, that is another question. And one that I may well be in favour of. But that is another subject.

@NZ22011,

By the way, if your children have dual citizenship, with one nationality being Japanese due to one parent being Japanese, they do NOT have to renounce Japanese citizenship when they become adults. This is a long standing myth propagated by the Japanese government (MOFA and MOJ) but not substantiated by the law. The Japanese government cannot force them to renounce their non-Japanese citizenship and cannot remove their Japanese citizenship if they do not renounce their non-Japanese citizenship. There is nothing in the law or the codes that give them this express power, no matter how strongly and strenuously insist it is not allowed. Separate topic for a different day, but relevant to this topic for obvious reasons.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

I pay my tax and have no say in how it is spent. How is that fair?

So yes!

7 ( +13 / -6 )

I hope those thousands & thousands of Syrian refugees won't be pressing for their right to vote in countries like Germany etc. once they get "settled in".

To me, wanting the right to vote, while not taking citizenship, is like someone who wants to get married, but still be allowed to play around with other people.

Accurate analogy there.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

If you pay then you gotta vote even if the vote is meaningless.

I am not sure how it is in your town but here where I live, I am a resident and pay taxes to the town so I get free access to the community center, basketball gym, tennis court, pool, and fitness center.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

IF Japan wants immigrants, Japan needs to make itself more attractive

While that's true, Japan has never really indicated they want more immigration.

10 ( +13 / -4 )

Strangerland.

I wouldn't expect a japanese person to give up thier citizenship, thier legal ties to thier country of origin, thier heritage or anyone of any country for that matter to have a right to vote or be represented where I am from. If they are legal tax paying residents and have made a commitment to the country I can't see a problem. Infact I think the voices of the people living in a country not being represented causes more of a problem in the long run.

Japan only for "ethnic japanese" is an old way of thinking and I fear doesn't really represent the world we live in, the makeup of country or address the grave population issues which will effect everyone with a vested interest in japan going forward.

I actually agree about the refugee thing to be honest... That's why I said a high barrier to entry is fine by me, though I think ensuring governments remain secular and promote equal rights is the more pertinent issue with that particular area of the world.

I know my views differ from some and everyone having different views is fine but the issue is if real, hard working, long term, commited, legal, tax paying people don't have a voice thier views are not being accounted for and I feel that is a larger issue than the few that are playing the "backup" card.

Zones2surf Interesting, the stories of people being forced to choose a passport at the airport are myths too? I need to do some more research on that one.

Also thanks for the balanced and reasonable sounding response, I too know this isn't an easy and straight forward issue, and one people are very passionate about on all sides. It's not something I expect to change quickly but hope that through discussion and understanding we can get closer to a good place for everyone.

Again relaxing the rules about duel citizenship seems the best course in the long run to me.

This all makes me think, also I'm worried about having enough time for the commitment, I really do need to response to the invite for application to the committee that represents non citizens in my local government. :-)

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Japan only for "ethnic japanese" is an old way of thinking

But this is incorrect. Japan allows for foreigners to take Japanese citizenship even if they aren't ethnically Japanese. And it's not that hard to do either - they don't place a lot of barriers to getting citizenship.

I fear doesn't really represent the world we live in

But we aren't speaking of the world, we are speaking of Japan. And as a sovereign nation they have the right to make whatever rules they want regarding citizenship and voting, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.

the makeup of country or address the grave population issues which will effect everyone with a vested interest in japan going forward.

Then why don't you take citizenship? (Honest question)

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

I pay my tax and have no say in how it is spent. How is that fair?

If you don't pay your taxes, you are a tax dodger and a criminal.

Let's get one thing straight. Permanent Residency in Japan is not a right but a "permission". Better be on your best behavior.

-11 ( +10 / -21 )

Strangerland

The minute this issue of renouncing any other citizenship goes away I will be the first in line. :-)

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I'll be right behind you.

But until then, my primary allegiance is to my home country.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

sensato:

Are there any countries that allow non-citizen permanent residents the right to vote? To my knowledge there are none, but I think all countries should give permanent residents that right.

Straight away, I can think of two examples - Japan's neighbours - South Korea and Hong Kong.

Have a look at this long list:

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

Personally, I think everything should be reciprocated. A Japanese friend of mine has spent several years in Hong Kong now - she most probably has permanent residency and the right to vote.

strangerland:

Then why don't you take citizenship? (Honest question)

Yes indeed, why not? Why not if at the end of the day you'll still be treated as a foreigner in society? I think more people would think about it if they didn't have to ditch their original nationality, especially those from developed countries. I personally would never consider it if I had to ditch my present passport. Isn't worth it just to get the right to vote.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Why is there even a question about this?

OF COURSE!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I wish we could edit in this forum.

Stranger land

Your other comments, I understand the legal procedure and the sovereignty of japan, and will abide by them, I just hope some of the prevailing attitudes will change to what I hope will be to be benefit of all.

I'm not suggesting I know the right answers on this somewhat complicated issue.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan needs to either allow dual citizenship or allow PR's to vote.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Yes, with qualifications, such as those mentioned by NZ2011.

However, I do believe that Permanent Residency is a misnomer. Residency should never be permanent, there should be time limits (in years) applied to it. Citizenship is permanent. If you live in a country long enough to become a citizen and intend to stay in the country until the end of your days then you should naturalize - even if that means giving up your original citizenship.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

I personally would never consider it if I had to ditch my present passport. Isn't worth it just to get the right to vote.

I agree, which is why I've not taken citizenship.

Japan needs to either allow dual citizenship or allow PR's to vote.

Why? To what ends?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Realistically it's not going to happen with a large Korean population here in Japan. The government would need to straighten out the flawed immigration law giving them preferential rights first. We also need to think about Okinawa, if we start providing long term residents voting rights then mainland Chinse will be flocking into that region just to vote for the local government office.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

tiring:

We also need to think about Okinawa, if we start providing long term residents voting rights then mainland Chinse will be flocking into that region just to vote for the local government office.

What is this, fear-mongering?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Not just permanent residents- ANYONE who pays the city taxes should at least have a right to vote in the local municipal elections. If you don't want to give some people the same rights as others, it is simply extortion to ask them to pay the same taxes. If the Japanese think that giving foreigners the right to vote is dangerous, then don't make them pay into the pension system, don't ask for city taxes, etc. Integrating the foreigners financially but not politically is extortion.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

If you pay taxes & health insurance, then you should be allowed to vote. You're a contributing member of society after all.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

There are countries that allow legal non-national residents to vote at least in local elections.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Aly Rustom,

Integrating the foreigners financially but not politically is extortion.

Extortion?? Not even close. Extortion is, according to Merriam Webster: "the crime of getting money from someone by the use of force or threats."

Taxation of foreigners without giving them representation may be many things, but it absolutely is not extortion.

As a foreigner, living in Japan is a choice. No one is forcing a foreigner to live here. We live here at the pleasure of the government and the Japanese people. It is not a right and we are owed nothing.

If a foreigner does not like being taxed without representation in Japan, they can always leave. Of course, they can work to advocate for change in the laws, but any changes would be at the pleasure of the Japanese people and not making such changes in favour of non-citizens in respect to voting is their prerogative.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

wanting the right to vote, while not taking citizenship, is like someone who wants to get married, but still be allowed to play around with other people.

I see it as being more like someone who wants to maintain cordial relations with both mother and father, despite the parents not living together.

I love this country, and feel that I have made a sizeable contribution to it - not only paying taxes, but providing labour that supports Japanese companies and the Japanese government. Not to mention adding two upstanding, hard-working, tax-paying young people to the population who in turn are making their own contribution. None of that should negate my love for my country of birth.

The minute this issue of renouncing any other citizenship goes away I will be the first in line. :-)

Not if I get there first. :-)

12 ( +13 / -1 )

as a permanent resident with a native wife and 3 kids paying a lot of taxes I should have no right to vote because my blood is no yamato blood. taxation without representation is good enough. i love my keepers and they deign to take care of me in the ways that they imagine i should be taken care of... well, time to go for my walk after they put the leash on,

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Sure, why not.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Strangerland,

Japan needs to either allow dual citizenship or allow PR's to vote.

Why? To what ends?

To protect, and promote equal treatment under the law to people that contribute to a society.

I feel, and perhaps wrong, but that I give more to this country than simply what I pay in taxes, and that the PR is currently basically a work visa that doesn't expire, but more or less you get the same treatment if your here for 6 months or 60 years doesn't really represent those people well, nor their families.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Not in federal elections, but perhaps in municipal ones. Having said that, giving the vote to non-citizens is extremely rare anywhere in the world. Japan's disallowing dual citizenship perhaps gives some credence to the idea of residents voting in non-federal elections.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No. Japan is for "Japanese". Permanent Foreign Residents are still "foreigners" no matter how you look at it.

And to the ignorant the foreigners who become naturalized Japanese citizens are still foreigners too.

It's pretty easy getting used to, folks like that will always make the choice to be and stay ignorant, so they are not in "my" world.

And as noted, one does not need to renounce their citizenship if they become naturalized and it's not like Japan goes running around telling other countries this person took Japanese citizenship or vice versa either.

I like being able to vote here.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Yubaru, but strictly speaking that isn't in accordance with the guidelines of the law, please correct me if Im wrong I would love to know.

You have to at least be somewhat dishonest and suggest you will renounce your citizenship once your Japanese one is granted. (as I understand it its not actually possible to renounce your citizenship from where I'm from anyway)

Why the grey area-ness?, just allow it, or should I say not so strongly discourage it and be done with it seems more reasonable.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@sensato

Are there any countries that allow non-citizen permanent residents the right to vote? To my knowledge there are none, but I think all countries should give permanent residents that right.

The UK allows all permanent residents from the other 52 Commonwealth nations (plus Ireland) to vote in UK elections. A number of other Commonwealth nations have similar rules, New Zealand being one of them.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

As an American, changing my nationality to Japan would mean having to pay off the top on my large investments stateside.

I do not think we should have the right to vote, if we cannot fight for the country too.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This poll should have a middle ground option.

I'm open to the idea of PR getting the right to vote in certain local elections but not for the national diet.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The reason why Japan does not want PR to have voting rights is essentially the same reason why they do not allow dual citizenship.

For those who are really serious about changing the status quo need to show their commitment by naturalizing and voting for a political party that shares your views. (JCP, in particular).

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

@ Sensato: A quick web-check revealed there are a couple of countries that permit permanent residents the right to vote.

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

I see no reason why long-time residents should be denied this right, on municipal level at least.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My gi-in (prefectural government) lives down the street and actually broached the question once when we were talking at a neighborhood event and asked whether I felt disenfranchised. I basically said that people whove made a long term commitment to a place (i.e. home-ownership, green card) should have a voice. He then asked me if I had ever considered naturalisation, and Im thinking "The lengths these guys`ll go to for a vote".

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Don't feel very strongly about this, and most other countries also do not allow non-citizens to vote. But, two points:

Japan should certainly allow dual nationality to remain into adulthood for those born with both, and in my opinion should also allow non-Japanese persons who acquire Japanese nationality to retain their original nationality. That would eliminate the voting anomaly.

There is no logic to allow a non-Japanese person to vote in a municipal election but not in a national election. The two should be treated identically.
-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Pukey2Sep. 07, 2015 - 10:25AM JST

What is this, fear-mongering?

Fear mongering? not aleast bit. Real estate in Okinawa is being bought by the Chinse the most. If you go to anti US base rallies 5% of partcipants are foreigners not speaking Japanese. (40% are from outside of Okinawa)

If local voting was allowed to PR in Okinawa it would be far worse.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I have PR and I don't believe I should be allowed to vote here. I think dual nationality should be permitted after a certain period of residence to those paying properly into the systems who are prepared to go through the applications process. Dual nationals should be able to vote, but not people on long-term visas. PR is not really permanent residency. Try refusing to be fingerprinted next time you arrive back in the country and you will find out exactly how "permanent" you really are.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

What is this, fear-mongering?

Real possibility. For instance, there are 700,000 Koreans in Japan. If some of them flock to a small city they can do anything. Such as an undersea tunnel Koreans want to build between a Korea city and Japan's to connect the two countries. Then Japan is no longer an island country all of sudden.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hampton,

Seems reasonable compromise, I would support that.

Though the shorter line in the airport is handy.. small price to pay I suppose ;-)

tinawatanabe, (wondered when you would be popping along to this discussion)

Japan's population is near 130 million (though decreasing fairly rapidly now), I'm not sure what about something less than 1% worries you so much, and if it did get to the point where there was enough of a percentage to make a difference, whatever method that was, naturalisation etc, wouldn't that actually be representative of the population makeup.

I wouldn't want to be the one, it would be a very tough time.. but some different ethnicities in the government doesn't sound like such a bad thing, has there ever been any?

I wonder Tina from some of your previous comments, do you think a person of non japanese ethnicity became a Japanese Citizen, potentially giving up another citizenship, should they then have the same rights as an ethnically Japanese Citizen?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I really do not care about a tunnel or if Hashimoto will win or not but I would be concerned with Shimane ken and thing related with Takeshima. It would complicate relation with the central & local government and diplomatic ties with Japan and SK. It will also become a flash point between the right wing conservatives, local Japanese residents and X generation koreans living in Japan. A demonstation could instantly turn into a riot between the two factions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Are there any countries that allow non-citizen permanent residents the right to vote? To my knowledge there are none, but I think all countries should give permanent residents that right.

New Zealand does. Anyone resident in NZ for 3 years ( that may have changed to 5 now ) can vote. To run in politics you have to be a citizen though.

Actually, there are quite a few countries that grant voting rights to non-citizens. Just google it!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Triring:

Despite the various troublemaking efforts of Ishihara re Senkaku while governor of Tokyo, and the Shimane prefectural government re Takeshima from time to time, foreign policy is set by the national government and not by local authorities. So your argument that voting in certain areas by 'infiltrators' will change anything is totally fallacious.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It would be nice, but remember non citizens in most countries can't vote on most things. That said it would be nice. It is true that most people with PR would probably have applied for citizenship if dual citizenship was allowed. Koreans with Special PR surly deserve a vote too. So given that PR is like Japan's citizenship light I can see an argument for allowing voting.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

in Japanese government and lawmakers there are many naturized Japanese already.

Is that true? Doubt it, but good if so.

westerner residents would flock to Taiji town and vote down their activity there if voting right is given.

Not realistic, is it. But if 'westerner residents' had the vote and made the commitment to live in Taiji (they would not be able to register to vote there unless living there), their view should count the same as any other resident and voter. Nothing scary about that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have no problem with restricting voting rights to citizens, but in that case dual citizenship should be allowed and the (extremely stringent) criteria for citizenship should be relaxed. Kids born with dual citizenship should be allowed to keep both for life, and PR and special-permanent (Korean) residents should be able to apply for Japanese citizenship without having to formerly renounce their other citizenship.

It is quite an antiquated way of thinking to imagine you harmoniously combine several identities and citizenships. Mixed kids are a perfect example that one can perfectly be both Japanese AND American, for example, and such dual citizens should be considered an asset rather than a threat.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

First off, I agree that dual citizenship should be allowed.

Also,I voted "No" and think citizenship should be a criteria for voting. Why? Because you need a genuine level of Japanese language to gain citizenship, and in my humble opinion, following Japanese politics only in the English press is not going to really allow you to make a genuinely informed opinion when it comes to voting. I have known too many long term residents, wonderful people thought they are, who have made zero effort to live outside of their English-only British-Pub existence, and because of this I don't think the mere fact of having lived in Japan for XXX number of years makes for an informed voter.

I am not personally a "bubble-boy" and have made efforts to learn the language, but even so I don't feel I personally have the level of Japanese to really make an informed choice if I were allowed to vote.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Giving permanent residents the vote was a Komeito policy some years ago. Once they became LDP stooges it was quickly dropped.

I'm quite happy with the present situation for two reasons. First, the cash requirement needed to stand as a candidate limits the choice to roughly three hopeless clowns in most constituencies. Two of those (LDP / DPJ) will have helped themselves to our taxes to pay the deposit to stand.

Secondly, as things stand at the moment the Japanese people have to take responsibility for the crooks and fools they elect; they cannot blame non-Japanese for that. If we had a vote you can be certain that any time a politician committed a crime "foreigners" would be blamed for electing him/her (usually him).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why ask the obvious? After all, they do take taxes from PRs don't they? No taxation without representation. Universal suffrage is a basic tenet for a TRUE democracy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Guillaume Varès

Kids born with dual citizenship should be allowed to keep both for life.

In effect, they are, by virtue of the fact that Japan neither disallows it nor is able to disallow it.

Zones2surf has already explained this above. There's no law against dual citizenship, and the process of "choosing" one citizenship at adulthood is a piece of bureaucratic trickery. A highly effective one at that, as it seems to have taken in most of the population, and most foreigners, including many parents of dual-national children, who believe that dual nationality is "not allowed", a phrase you see coming up time and again, including in JT comments.

Officially, Japan says that it does not recognize dual citizenship. This is rather different from preventing it or banning it, and in many cases, they do acknowledge it, as when immigration officers ask to see the non-Japanese passport of dual national travellers, or at least ask if they possess one, and then let the traveller pass through. Which happens. Or when people renew their Japanese passports, and the issuing authority is perfectly aware that they have another citizenship as well. Which also happens.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just as illegal's in the US should not have the right to vote, so should foreigners in Japan not have the right to vote. If you want to vote become a citizen it's that simple.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Just as illegal's in the US should not have the right to vote, so should foreigners in Japan not have the right to vote. If you want to vote become a citizen it's that simple.

Except, I am here legally, pay taxes, and becoming a Japanese national isn't all that easy. It's that simple.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The actual question is the representation of the foreigners in the Political system of Japan, at the moment there is no representation, so they do not have any input of the foreigners whenever they make any law/decisions. when you give respect/ownership to any community they tends to contribute to the society in a positive way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japantoday staff. As I read this the dual citizenship issue seemed to pop up a lot. Maybe that is good for a future question.

I don't think of myself as primarily loyal to a nation. I think of myself as primarily loyal to my God and secondarily loyal to my family. Though there is nothing that indicates God cares about national citizenship I don't really think it matters.

My family on the other hand does matter. Mostly that is my kids. After we are finished having children then there is really nothing to stop us from both being Japanese for sake of convenience. But because being a citizen makes things so much easier for both countries we want our kids to have the option. If we end up in America but the kids want to return back home to Japan for college, or if we stay here (current plan) and they want to go to America for college.

However, if Japan allowed dual citizenship then we would both pursue dual citizenship for our own convenience in travel as we would hope to somewhat frequently visit both sides of the family.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Although PR may sound 'permanent', it really isn't. If you leave Japan for more than one year, you lose PR so it really is just a type of visa. The benefit being it has the word 'permanent' in it so banks may be more willing to lend you money for a house etc. Also you don't have to go to immigration every 3 or 5 years. Having said that, I think those who have PR have obviously lived here for quite a few years and may well have an interest in political issues that affect them so they should be able to vote in local/national elections if they choose to.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If they are permanent residents, then they should have the right to vote. Whether or not they want to vote is up to them, but certainly they should have the right to vote in the country they've made their home.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If you don't want to give some people the same rights as others, it is simply extortion to ask them to pay the same taxes.

No, because you are using the infrastructure that those taxes pay for. It's not like you are paying and receiving nothing at all, you get all the benefits that residence in Japan brings.

Japan needs to either allow dual citizenship or allow PR's to vote.

Why? To what ends?

To protect, and promote equal treatment under the law to people that contribute to a society.

You can receive that equal treatment by becoming a citizen.

And to the ignorant the foreigners who become naturalized Japanese citizens are still foreigners too.

Yes and no. They will always be considered not Japanese - and not only by the Japanese. But that said, taking citizenship gets almost all the rights of citizenship, whether someone wants to consider you a foreigner or not.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you're intending to stay there long-term and are heavily invested in your life in the country, why not become a citizen. I understand that people who are PR do pay taxes etc. which would only make it fair to allow them to vote but it doesn't make sense to me why a PR wouldn't bother to become a citizen if they really want to vote..

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As of this writing, 158 of us have voted !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is the problem that the USA is having. The Constitution allow citizens to vote. A foreigner is a foreigner. He or she can vote in his or her country. He or she has all the other legal rights that citizen have.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Saying "no" if you are a foreigner always sounds to me like those working class who vote Republican or Tory. It is not really in their own interest. They have to have been seriously influenced by elitist ideology to do so. Perhaps they convince themselves they are looking out for the country rather than their own interests. Nice. Perhaps such people take such a view when voting for products with their hard-earned cash too, but I doubt they have such higher motivations then.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@charlie

Must of us would, or already have it, if Japan would be more lenient about other citizenships.

You may say, well if you have made your life in Japan what do you need the other one for.

There is a real human element that seems to be missing in the thought process, if you have another country where you have family, friends and relations, where you were born, even if you don't have any financial interest there any longer as is the case with me, should I not be able to return without visa restrictions should a family member get sick or any other larger number of possibilities. To demand that people give up their heritage and access to it seems out of line with a free fair world. I would be disgusted if my country of origin had such a policy.

So we currently are left with a very hard choice in my opinion, choose between two countries we love dearly, or go about it in a grey way and be slightly dishonest, and who knows potentially risk our whole livelihoods should immigration decide to get tough about it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Saying "no" if you are a foreigner always sounds to me like those working class who vote Republican or Tory.

I've been quite vocal about my thoughts on 'no' in these comments, and I'm about as liberal as it gets.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Humans are not much better than ants. What is your colony is chiefly decided by where you were born, and people in other colonies don't trust you even though you have made a clear choice to support and join their colony.

A person's right to vote should be determined by where they live, work, and pay taxes. Its weird that you do not automatically become a citizen by those virtues, but you do automatically become a citizen by being born under the right circumstances. Welcome the human ant colonies of Earth stranger!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm going to say yes based off the economics of voting rights. When give voting rights to people who have to earn it they tend to respect the ability and make use of their influence. This gives people more of an incentive to stay and become active in the community. I would like to see voting rights given to PR residents with 4 years of confirmed consistent physical residency in Japan.

The flip side to this question is also interesting given Canada's new law stripping voting rights from citizens outside of the country for more than 5 years. Would people be willing to gain voting rights in one country at the cost of voting rights in another country?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If a PR (and not a citizen) by choice, one's loyalty is questionable.

If a PR (and not a citizen) because Japan doesn't want to grant citizenship to the individual, loyalty is still questionable, even though it's not the PR's fault.

In either case, why should Japan grant the vote? How many countries WOULD do that?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

If a PR (and not a citizen) by choice, one's loyalty is questionable.

No it isn't.

why should Japan grant the vote? How many countries WOULD do that?

New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Venezuela, to name a few. The Nordic countries, EU, Commonwealth, etc., have various kinds of reciprocal agreements.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Turbosat Plenty do as has been pointed out before.

Loyalty> Im not not quite sure what this means? At a sports game? If world war 3 starts.. what precisely is your concern here?

If my entire life is here, my family, my home are here why would I not act in the best interest of the country?

isoducky Good point, by treating people with respect and legitimising their contribution you are more likely to have a life long contributor rather than what others seem to fear, that they will leave if the going gets tough.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My loyalty to my country of birth is definitely in question. Should I be stripped of my vote there? Is it a prerequisite to "love" (whatever that is in relation to a country) and identify with the aims of those who do the "educating" and creating the ideology in order to have the vote? It is utterly ludicrous to suggest that it is. That is a recipe for conservativism and one's own eventual enslavement to the aims of authority and elites. We should all have a say in any decisions that affect our lives and freedoms, wherever we happen to find ourselves on this Earth. No questions asked. We are not forelock tuggers. I suspect that those who think otherwise have lost some self-respect or are too bound up with preserving some kind of idealised Japan for themselves. Wake up guys.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TS: If a PR (and not a citizen) by choice, one's loyalty is questionable.

cleo: No it isn't.

Do we really need to post the wiktionary definitions of "questionable", here?

And if the loyalty of someone who refuses to take the citizenship of their adopted country isn't questionable, whose loyalty is?

TS: why should Japan grant the vote? How many countries WOULD do that?

cleo: New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Venezuela, to name a few. The Nordic countries, EU, Commonwealth, etc., have various kinds of reciprocal agreements.

"To name a few" because there ARE only a few?

As for reciprocal agreements, those countries are likely tightly bound to each other. Who is Japan tightly bound to? The USA, which likely doesn't supply the provisions needed at the other end, to make an agreement reciprocal?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There does seem to be a real issue of not being able to have constructive criticism of, or even discussion the status quo here.

But, the nail that sticks out gets hammered right.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NZ2011: Turbosat Plenty do as has been pointed out before.

cleo named 5 out of the 193 nations of the world and that's "plenty"?

Moonraker: My loyalty to my country of birth is definitely in question. Should I be stripped of my vote there? ... We are not forelock tuggers. I suspect that those who think otherwise have lost some self-respect or are too bound up with preserving some kind of idealised Japan for themselves.

Forelock tuggers!?! Back 'atcha!

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

"The Man Without a Country" is a short story by American writer Edward Everett Hale, first published in The Atlantic in December 1863. It is the story of American Army lieutenant Philip Nolan, who renounces his country during a trial for treason and is consequently sentenced to spend the rest of his days at sea without so much as a word of news about the United States. ... The protagonist is a young United States Army lieutenant, Philip Nolan, who develops a friendship with the visiting Aaron Burr. When Burr is tried for treason (historically this occurred in 1807), Nolan is tried as an accomplice. During his testimony, he bitterly renounces his nation, angrily shouting, "I wish I may never hear of the United States again!" The judge was completely shocked at this announcement, and on convicting him, icily grants him his wish: he is to spend the rest of his life aboard United States Navy warships, in exile, with no right ever again to set foot on U.S. soil, and with explicit orders that no one shall ever mention his country to him again.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well, or more specifically a reasonable path to voting. PR or Dual citizenship.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@ Turbostat.

Sorry, but I fail to see the relevance of some inconsequential story written 150 years ago to the debate. Are you using it to suggest that we must all identify with our nation-state, those who control it and it/their aims? And then and only then should we be rewarded with some small token of freedom?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Moonraker

It's the parable of the person without loyalty to his country. Why should his country care about him after that?

Same for Permanent Residents. Why should their new country care if PRs have the vote, if they won't even transfer their citizenship to their new country? Just so PRs can have some say in how taxes are spent?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If a PR (and not a citizen) by choice, one's loyalty is questionable.

Anybody's loyalty is questionable!! As far as I know, the only basis for the U.S. citizenship of Charles Jenkins was being born in America to American parents. Did not stop him from defecting to North Korea. And it didn't stop Ethel Rosenberg providing state secrets to the Soviets. Nor Aldrich Ames.

It would be a fun game to make competing lists of traitors and see how many were PRs, naturalized citizens and native born, but I don't think that would be allowed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Do we really need to post the wiktionary definitions of "questionable", here?

If you like -

1 (obsolete) Inviting questions; inviting inquiry.

2 Problematic; open to doubt or challenge. It is questionable if the universe is open or closed.

3 Of dubious respectability or morality. Tiffiny's behavior is highly questionable.

From that I would say the only way in which the loyalty of a long-term PR in Japan is 'questionable' is in the first, obsolete, sense: you can legitimately ask why a long-tern PR has opted not to take citizenship.

As has been pointed out before, the key problem is the lack of the option of dual nationality; just as you cannot reasonably ask a person to cut all ties with their mother in order to live with their father, it is not reasonable to expect a person to renounce their birth nationality. Personally, I would find the loyalty of a person who would have no qualms about doing that more... questionable than a person who retains loyalty to their country of birth. (When a person divorces in order to remarry a new love, can the second spouse ever be totally assured that history will not repeat itself?)

"To name a few" because there ARE only a few?

To name a few because they are the ones that came to mind and I've got other things to do. You're the one who asked the question, google it for yourself.

In many cases, it isn't a simple yes they do/no they don't. There are reciprocal agreements, length-of-residence conditions, national vs local elections, etc.

The granting of dual nationality would resolve all those other conditions, of course.

Like Moonraker, I don't see the point of your story.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So, you'd strip me of my right to vote and citizenship, Turbotsat, unless I show the required loyalty? But then who decides what that loyalty consists of? Knowing how nation-states operate we can be sure that loyalty would involve having to acquiesce to the demands of those who really rule it and their aims and interests.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

All that most free countries generally require is that you not renounce your citizenship, not that you "prove your loyalty". If you renounce it, what do you have to complain about, if they agree with your request?

Every year a few hundred or thousand people renounce US citizenship. Should they retain the right to vote in the USA?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

By only allowing a single nationality, Japan forces one to choose which country to which their loyalty lies. Many don't like it, and I know I would love it if they allowed dual citizenship, but they don't. I love Japan, but having been forced to choose, I choose my own country, even though I haven't lived there in 20 years, and have in fact spent more of my life not living there than living there.

I understand most of us long-timers have loyalty to Japan - I know I do - but it's not where our primary loyalty lies. So I understand their unwillingness to not let us vote.

I don't really feel anyone has the right to complain though, unless they are denied citizenship. But as far as it goes, there is a path to voting open to all of us who have lived here for more than 5 years, we just aren't willing to take it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@Strangerland

Well said!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I am not really sure how loyalty fits into the equation anyhow. Its not like a group of PRs are going to vote in a foreign dictator, is it?

Even simple math will tell you that there will never be enough PRs to control the vote to a degree that some anti-Japan politician gets in office. And if there were so many, they would just rise up and take the country by force anyhow.

No. I think its pretty obvious that the overwhelming majority of PRs would simply have Japan's best interest at heart when they vote for the latest government leech.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Its not like a group of PRs are going to vote in a foreign dictator, is it?

Seriously, I've heard that given as a reason - The Koreans/Chinese will flood in, live here umpteen years, build lives here, maybe even marry our wimmin, and then vote to overthrow the Japanese way of life.

I think its pretty obvious that the overwhelming majority of PRs would simply have Japan's best interest at heart

As least as much as the overwhelming majority of born-here folk.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That reason was given on this very thread! (though the post in question appears to have since been deleted by the mods)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Voting rights are not for convenience or an idealistic "right." It is the right to determine the course of a nation.

Residents are just residing and have not committed to "serve" the country. If one wishes to vote, he/she MUST commit to join and serve that nation by becoming a citizen. Residents have the immediate option to leave and also rely on his/her own country of citizenship to "protect" him/her should it be necessary.

Residents may vote in a corporation that he/she may work for or any organization which he may participate in and that may allow it. However, nationality and citizenship MUST determine the right to vote in any government election.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Here is a lot of MUST and so on in your OPINION, though to be fair there are places that just fine without following this thinking.

Again it is Japan's fairly rare strong stance on renouncing other citizenships that is probably at issue here.

I'm not sure what commiting to serve means, are we at war or something?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Again it is Japan's fairly rare strong stance on renouncing other citizenships that is probably at issue here.

It most definitely is - but I think that's the point Japan is making. They aren't the ones that have an issue, we are.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The granting of dual nationality would resolve all those other conditions, of course.

This door swings both ways and everyone is avoiding not to step on it. If you have dual nationality then which nationality are they going to pledge their allegiance to when the two nations are at each other?

For PR it's even easier. They are known as sleepers. Some malevolent countries even blackmail their own citizens living abroad taking their family left behind to do their bidding. I had posted many times within this thread in which the mods say it's "off topic" but there still lives more than 500,000 X generation Koreans that stayed behind Japan even though they were offered a ship back home or naturalization as a Japanese citizen by signing a piece a paper and yet they still maintain PR status as SK nationality even though some can't even speak Korean.

Another example would be the lost Islamic PRs in Europe, US and other parts of the world who are brainwashed and recruited to become soldier and/or home grown terrorist. Boston bombing? Jihadi John? The hundreds of wannabe ISIS members in their adopted countries? How about the Burqu controversy in France? We also have to think about the backlash by the conservatives when thing really gets intense as well.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal".

I see other nations are raising the bar as far as citizenship requiring language proficiency, cultural and history knowledge etc.

Should the question not be should Japan adopt similar and require more personal investment requirement before doing so?

I mean, how much about politics can you understand, and how can you make informed decision and participate, if you cannot understand laws, the language etc?

Japan is in a different situation to European countries etc in that there are far greater disparities between it and its nearest neighbors, and considerable political stresses.

Unfortunately, due to those and a lack of space and resources, it cannot start handing out dual nationalities, universal suffrage and invite open immigration in the same way as, say, North America or Australia has.

Blame the extremists amongst the North Korean Zainichi for the current situation.

Of course, many municipalities have introduced non-Japanese-inclusive polling systems on a permanent basis.

The other thing to consider is, how much of a difference would it make anyway?

I suggest that the demographics would suggest none whatsoever.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sure, and as I have said before I will live within the guidelines of the law, I still choose to be here in spite of that, long term, and that my decision and know perhaps it will never change.... Though I will not hesitate in expressing my opinion that's it's all a little short sighted, and being a little more lenient towards those who are here, contribute and would like representation and more equal treatment is a better path towards building a strong nation than refusing to adapt to the world around us to the detriment of us all who call Japan home no matter the country in our passport, or where we were born.

For that question of loyalty, or commitment, do you think someone is more likely to stick out when things get tough for a place that strives to understand, accept you and make you part of it, or one that keeps you at arms length.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

are we at war or something?

Of course war is issue.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

For that question of loyalty, or commitment, do you think someone is more likely to stick out when things get tough for a place that strives to understand, accept you and make you part of it, or one that keeps you at arms length.

But they are not keeping us at arms length, we are keeping ourselves at arms length. They've provided a way to 'come into the fold' as it were - take citizenship. They allow us to do it, and it's apparently not even that hard. So if we choose not to take that step, we can hardly blame them for having us at arms length when we are the ones who choose to stay that far away.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I voted "no" because I don't want to give nationalists an argument against foreigners in Japan. If such rights were given, we'd probably hear comments on how "Gaijins interrupt Japanese politics".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well, as long as I get to vote in JT polls, then that is sufficient for me!! :-) Because the impact of my vote in JT polls will have as about much impact on Japanese politics as being able to vote in Japanese elections, regardless of what level!

In all seriousness, there are probably many ways to effect changes in Japanese policies and practices as a non-Japanese that are probably much more effective than that of having the right to vote.

Of course, for many, it is a question of "equality" and "fairness", the arguments being on principle rather than the practical impact having the right to vote would have on Japanese politics.

I have lived in Japan longer than anywhere, including my home country of the U.S. I was born in Japan (to non-Japanese parents, so never a Japanese citizen), I grew up in Japan, my spouse is Japanese, and I could, in all seriousness live in Japan the rest of my life and probably be happy apart from any practicalities around pensions and social security and all of that.

However, as a non-citizen, I do not believe I should have the right to vote. There are many other things that I believe I should have and that should be easier for me a long-term resident, but the right to vote is not one of them. For me, I just believe that the right to vote should be reserved for citizens, whose ties to the country are permanent and not linked to any visa. There are a multitude of reasons for this, but I will limit it to that now. Therefore, if I really want the right to vote, I should commit to becoming a Japanese citizen and fully aligning my personal interests with those of Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No, because the number of foreigners in Japan will not make a difference.... and Yes, because the number of foreigners in Japan will not make a difference. Either way... they have no voice. When the population of Japan is more than 20% non Japanese it might start to matter... but considering Japan continues to throw money at refugees and does not actually accept them and that Japan actually needs people to live in the 8 million homes without occupants one has to believe Japan is AFA.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sorry, I'd have to say citizens only. If you can't make that commitment how "permanent" are you?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As permanent as anyone else for the large majority of people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is an interesting question to say the lease. I would say no because if your not a citizen than forget it!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I say YES, but only on local(city, ward, etc) election we pay our taxes there and should have a voice.

For National elections I say a firm NO, those should be for citizens only.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan is way back when it comes to this issue. One great contribution of wealthy and powerful nations is giving voice to people who want to become parts of their community, esp. through voting. Most for those who have lived for five years.

This land is not for us to keep, it is for us to give for more generations to come. Whether we leave them a land that is more peaceful, diverse and just as prosperous, or we leave them a land with a bulk of issues and unease with their neighbors.

at least we can vote here on JT. :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Would you want a non citizen voting in your country?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Would you want a non citizen voting in your country?

My country would (and does) recognise dual nationality, so there is no reason people living there long-term cannot get citizenship rights. But even without that, if they've lived there several years, worked hard, paid their taxes, contributed to society, why not? They're probably better up on the details of local politics than someone like me who, despite having not lived there for decades, can waltz in any time, wave my passport around and register to vote in the very next election.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@jimu

We have non-citizens voting in my country already; if they are from a former colony and have PR, they can vote. Fine by me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think voting is the most inclusive of all social experiments that humans have invented. But that gonna take risks, especially from the part of leaders, and perhaps society as a whole. Quite obviously, japan have an outstanding record on engineering and technology, but there seems to be a lack of investment in the chemistry of human society, i.e. social science -- voting is a good indicator in this case. But again, that won't fall like manna from heaven, it involve efforts n leadership.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, because the vast majority of 'permanent foreign residents' in Japan are native born Japanese of Korean descent, whose families have been in Japan for one-hundred years or more.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I believe in the majority of countries you have to be a "citizen" to vote. Personally, I like not being able to vote here. The main reason being I don't get hassled during election time.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Jimu Would you want a non citizen voting in your country?

I don't have a problem with it provided that the place they are voting is their main resident country, and the majority of their interests are there, they are paying taxes and are appearing at least to be committed to making a life there.

As I said earlier, I have no issue with the barrier to entry being high, but no so high as to deny people the links to their former countries of origin, and I remain hopeful it will one day change.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I answered a YES, but with qualifications: Ideally, those with PR should be restricted to only vote on local/regional issues. Voting on national issues should be restricted to those with full citizenship.

In practice, since Japan is a Westminster style parliament so it is not easy/impossible to have a clear divide between regional/national issues....

Yes, I agree with multiple citizenship.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Absolutely NO. Because it all comes down to the length of your intestine! I am convinced that the correct length gives the Japanese, and the Japanese only, this unique ability to choose their own government. Do you have the uniquely Japanese extra-long intestine? No? Then you should not be allowed to vote. "Permanent" - spermanent. A thorough measuring test of the intestine, and that only, should determine whether a gaijin is Japanese enough to vote. Actually I think we should all wait to be reborn with a longer intestine to be allocated the right to vote. Tough, I know, but stop eating too much meat, eat your vegies and especially your fermented soybeans, don't forget the occasional whale meat to feel natsukashiiiiii washed down by plenty of haibooru and in a thousand years maybe you'll grow an intestine Japanese enough to vote. Until then...gaman sinasai.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

No they should not. Foreigners would advocate and vote for stupid policies found in other countries, that's why. Their is this asinine argument about giving them a "voice" as if not being able to vote results in having no voice thus resulting in some kind of "oppression". Well of course just because you can't vote regardless of your legal status does not mean oppression. If I became a PR of Japan, I would have no problem not having the privilege to vote.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Black Sabbath

Yes, because the vast majority of 'permanent foreign residents' in Japan are native born Japanese of Korean descent, whose families have been in Japan for one-hundred years or more.

Who are pretty much the reason why no one else will get to vote. There's a problem with the North Korean leaning groups.

All the Zainichi need to do is accept Japanese citizenship, 100 years later as you say, and they can vote. It's not oppression. They are just opportunists who prefer to exploit the ambiguous area they occupy.

Along with welfare and other benefits.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Surely the crucial point here is the word 'permanent'. If you are living somewhere permanently, and paying taxes to the government, then you must be able to have a say in how those taxes are spent. Anything less is simply undemocratic. I cannot see how anyone could disagree with this argument..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

More permanent than a tourist, less permanent than a citizen.

I guess it's undemocratic that tourists not be given the right to vote, too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You can be a "permanent" resident after a few weeks if your spouse processes your visa application.

I guess it's reasonable to demand the individual sticks around for a while and engages in society first.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can be a "permanent" resident after a few weeks if your spouse processes your visa application.

No you can't, unless by 'a few weeks' you mean at least a year, in most cases much longer.

2. Special requirements for 10-year residence in principle (1) The person is a spouse of a Japanese national, special permanent resident or permanent resident, and has been in a real marital relationship for more than 3 years consecutively and has stayed in Japan more than 1 year consecutively.

http://www.moj.go.jp/content/000099622.pdf

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thanks.

Is a 10-year residence the equivalent to "permanent" residency?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Regarding raising the bar with citizenship tests I recently scored 20 out of 20 in the German Citizenship test, admittedly two or three were half guesses but it seems to demonstrate that a little basic world knowledge and awareness would be enough to pass such tests if they were of a similar level. (I'm English/French living in Japan)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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