- Japanese nationality law
Japanese nationality is a legal designation and set of rights granted to those people who have met the federal criteria for citizenship by parentage or by naturalization. Nationality is in the jurisdiction of the Minister of Justice and is generally governed by the Nationality Law of 1950.
Nationality by birth
Japan is a jus sanguinis state as opposed to jus soli state, meaning that it attributes citizenship by blood but not by location of birth. However, in practice, it is by parentage but not by descent. Article 2 of the Nationality Act provides three situations in which a person can become a Japanese national at birth:
- When either parent is a Japanese national at the time of birth
- When the father dies before the birth and is a Japanese national at the time of death
- When the person is born on Japanese soil and both parents are unknown or stateless
A system for acquiring nationality by birth after birth is also available. If an unmarried Japanese father and non-Japanese mother have a child, and the parents later marry and the Japanese father acknowledges paternity, the child can acquire Japanese nationality, so long as the child has not reached the age of 20. Japanese nationality law effective from 1985 has been that if the parents are not married at the time of birth and the father has not acknowledged paternity while the child was still in the womb, the child will not acquire Japanese nationality. However, Japan's Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that denying nationality to children born out of wedlock to foreign mothers is unconstitutional.
Japan does not allow dual citizenship, and anyone who willingly applies and obtains foreign citizenship automatically forfeits Japanese citizenship. The exception is where one is given special honorary citizenship by a foreign state. In this instance, since the person in question did not apply to acquire foreign citizenship, that person will not forfeit Japanese nationality by retaining the foreign citizenship bestowed on him or her.
A Japanese national may also acquire a second citizenship through no action of his or her own, such as being born to a non-Japanese citizen parent and acquiring that parent's citizenship as a result of that country's laws, or by being born in a jus soli country. In these cases, if that person obtained dual nationality after 1985, he/she shall choose one citizenship/nationality before the age of 22. Failure to do so may result in loss of Japanese nationality. If he/she obtained dual nationality before 1985, failure to choose one citizenship before 22 years of age resulted in automatic selection of Japanese nationality.
The Minister of Justice must approve any application for naturalization in order for it to occur. Review of an application generally takes about one year.
- Continuous residence in Japan for five years or more
- At least 21 years old and otherwise legally competent
- History of good behavior generally, and no past history of seditious behavior
- Sufficient capital or skills, either personally or within family, to support oneself
- Stateless or willing to renounce foreign citizenship
The Minister of Justice may waive the age and residence requirements if the applicant has a special relationship to Japan (for example, a Japanese parent).
The Nationality Act also provides that the Diet of Japan may confer Japanese nationality by special resolution to a person who has provided extraordinary service to Japan. However, this provision has never been invoked.
For many years naturalized citizens were required to adopt a Japanese family name. This requirement was abolished in the late 1980s. A well-known example of someone who did not adopt a Japanese name is Masayoshi Son, the wealthiest man in Japan as of 2007, who naturalized using his Korean family name rather than the Japanese family name he used during his youth.
Loss of citizenship
Loss of citizenship requires the approval of the Minister of Justice.
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 twenty and twenty-two, 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.
Japanese nationals who hold multiple citizenship by birth, and who do not wish to lose their Japanese citizenship, are required to declare their desire to retain Japanese citizenship by the age of 21. Part of fulfilling this requirement is to "make an effort" to renounce other citizenships once they have declared their intent to retain Japanese nationality. This may be difficult for some Japanese with foreign nationality, for example, Iranian nationals cannot renounce their Iranian nationality until age 25. While Iranian-Japanese dual nationals born to an Iranian father may not have to renounce their Japanese nationality, exercising their other citizenship in Japan is considered an expatriating act that nullifies their Japanese citizenship. This is true for a Japanese national holding any dual citizenship. For example, the post of Assistant Language Teacher is not open to Japanese nationals under Japanese law. If a Japanese national obtains a visa for such a job in their foreign passport, that is deemed an expatriating act. If a child is born with dual nationality or acquires it as a child as a result of the parents naturalizion, the child may hold dual nationality, but is not allowed to exercise his or her rights as a foreigner in Japan.
A Japanese national does not lose his or her nationality in situations where citizenship is acquired involuntarily such as when a Japanese woman marries an Iranian national. In this case she automatically acquires Iranian citizenship and is permitted to be an Iranian-Japanese dual national, since the acquisition of the Iranian citizenship was involuntary.
On November 14, 2008, The Japan Times reported that Liberal Democratic Party member Taro Kono had submitted a proposal to allow offspring of mixed national couples where one parent is Japanese to have more than one nationality. The proposal also calls for foreigners to be allowed to obtain Japanese nationality without losing their original citizenship.
- ^ Nora Fitch (19 July 2005), Strict enforcement of ill-conceived clause in Japan's Nationality Law threatens families., Japan Times, http://search.japantimes.co.jp/member/member.html?fl20050719zg.htm, retrieved 30 October 2008
- ^ a b Agence France-Presse (30 October 2008), (UPDATE) Japan top court strikes down nationality law, Philippine Daily Inquirer, http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view/20080604-140716/UPDATE-Japan-top-court-strikes-down-nationality-law, retrieved 30 October 2008
- ^ Article 11, The Nationality Law, Ministry of Justice of Japan.
- ^ "The Choice Of Nationality". Japan Ministry Of Justice. http://www.moj.go.jp/ENGLISH/information/tcon-01.html. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
- ^ Japan's Ministry of Justice: The Nationality Law (in English)
- ^ IN JAPAN, KOREANS STILL FEEL STING OF DISCRIMINATION July 29, 1994, Boston Globe
- ^ Masayoshi Son was among the first to flout Japan's business establishment The Washington Post, May 9, 1999
- ^ Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship, United States Department of State, http://www.travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_776.html.
- ^ a b Civil Code of Iran (last amended 1985), UNHCR, 2008, http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rsd/rsddocview.htm?tbl=RSDLEGAL&id=3ae6b5a68, retrieved 30 October 2008
- ^ Minoru Matsutani (November 14, 2008), LDP panel mulls easing law on dual citizenship, The Japan Times, http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20081114a1.html
Immigration to Japan AmericasAmericans · Brazilians · Peruvians Asia Others See also Nationality laws (category) By continentAfricaAsiaOceaniaEuropeAndorra · Austria · Belarus · Belgium · Bulgaria · Croatia · Czech Republic · Denmark · Estonia · Finland · France · Germany · Greece · Hungary · Iceland · Ireland · Italy · Kazakhstan · Latvia · Lithuania · Luxembourg · Macedonia · Malta · Moldova · Monaco · Montenegro · Norway · Netherlands · Poland · Portugal · Romania · Russia · Serbia · Slovakia · Slovenia · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland · Ukraine · United KingdomNorth AmericaSouth AmericaInternational
By type Other Defunct Notes
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Japanese employment law — Employment Agreements = Under the Civil Code, a contract in which one person performs services for another with compensation may be construed as any one of the following: * an nihongo|employment agreement|雇用契約|koyō keiyaku where the object is the … Wikipedia
Nationality Law of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea — Chosŏn gŭl 조선민주주의인민공화국 국적법 Hancha 朝鮮民主主義人民共和國 國籍法 McCune–Reischauer … Wikipedia
Nationality Law of the Republic of China — Flag of the Republic of China The Nationality Law of the Republic of China (traditional Chinese: 中華民國國籍法; simplified Chinese: 中华民国国籍法; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Mínguó guójí fǎ) … Wikipedia
Portuguese nationality law — is the legal set of rules that regulate access to Portuguese citizenship, which is acquired mainly through descent from a Portuguese parent, naturalisation in Portugal or marriage to a Portuguese citizen. In some cases, children born in Portugal… … Wikipedia
Egyptian Nationality Law — The Egyptian Nationality Law is based on a mixture the principles of Jus sanguinis and Jus soli with some alterations. In other words both place of birth and Egyptian parentage are relevant for determining whether a person is an Egyptian citizen … Wikipedia
Moroccan nationality law — is the subject of the Moroccan Dahir (decree) of September 6, 1958, official Bulletin Number 2394. In general, Moroccan nationality is transmitted by filiation (father and mother) or birth in Morocco. However, this gives the right to Moroccan… … Wikipedia
Dutch nationality law — is based primarily on the principle of Jus sanguinis and is governed by the Kingdom act regarding Dutch citizenship (Dutch: Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap). Thus citizenship is conferred primarily by birth to a Dutch parent, irrespective of… … Wikipedia
Canadian nationality law — Immigration to Canada This article is part of a series Topics Canadians … Wikipedia
Mongolian nationality law — The flag of Mongolia The Mongolian nationality law is a nationality law determines who is a citizen of Mongolia. Contents 1 Current law … Wikipedia
Peruvian nationality law — Peru This article is part of the series: Politics and government of Peru … Wikipedia