Identity problem from Dual citizenship

by Sungryoung Yoon

Dual citizenship is a status in which a person has two citizenships under the law. The number of the countries which allow dual citizenship has been increased by globalization like a lot of immigration. The United States is one of the representative countries which is multicultural country and also allow this system in the world. However Japanese government still doesn’t allow this system today. Japanese government forces people to choose one nationality when people get 22 years old. I think that system of dual citizenship will be one of the ways which helps solving the problem of people’s identity. I guess only one national system in Japan constrict one’s identity who have some roots so I would like to talk about good point of dual citizenship for identity problem. I am going to talk two different styles of people who have some different roots.

First one I will talk here is hafu style. Hafu people naturally get two different roots or more than two different roots from their parents when they were born, and then they grow up with their different roots. It should be so difficult for people who have some roots to choose only one nationality because different roots grow people’s identity naturally. For example, I have one friend whose father is from the United States and mother is from Japan. She was grown up in Japan until 6 years old and then she moved to the United States. She had to choose one nationality when she got 22 years old because of Japanese system even if she speaks both English and Japanese so well and she loves both cultures too. She didn’t want to throw away Japanese nationality if she could because she feels her identity is made by both. She told me when we talked about identity problems. Japanese government forced her to choose only one nationality even if her identity comes from both roots.

Second style is a foreigner living in Japan. I pick one example about Korean who were born in Japan and the United States. I am one of this example because I was born in Japan with Korean nationality. I was grown up in Japan and went to Japanese school and my almost friends were only Japanese before I go to Korea last year. My personality adapted to Japanese society but nationality is Korean. I was so surprised when I met a lot of Korean who were in the United States. They asked me why I do not have dual citizenship and told me Japanese government should give me the chance to choose. I hadn’t thought until then I could choose nationality but if I could have two citizenship, I think something would change to my identity problem.

I know a lot of problems will happen like government problem if we introduce dual citizenship system to Japanese society. However I don’t think it is the best way to force people to choose nationality because identity comes to people so naturally. Dual citizenship will make big helpful for people who have different roots more than bad points.

Dual Citizenship in Japan

BASIC MEANING

Dual citizenship occurs when one person acquires nationality from more than one country. This can happen when a child is born of parents of mixed nationality or of parents who are living in country other than that of their citizenship.

CURRENT SITUATION

Nowadays, a child born in Japan of mixed parents would be eligible for both Japanese citizenship and the citizenship of their foreign parents. However, Japan takes a stricter view of individuals holding more than one nationality, since the situations and laws can easily become a bit complex. Therefore, when young people become adult, about 22, they have to choose their citizenship.

Unlike many countries that tolerate but not officially endorse dual citizenship, Japan chooses to take restrictions on dual nationality. Thus, when a Japanese national holding a foreign nationality turns 20, they will be required to choose on sole citizenship within 2 years.

THE GOVERNMENTAL MEASRURES ABOUT HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR NATIONALITY

For Japanese citizens holding a foreign nationality, there are two methods of declaring a single nationality. One is abandoning the foreign nationality, the other one is swearing to Japanese nationality. When the time comes to choose one nationality, people are usually supposed to think carefully and make the right decision.

MY OWN OPINION

In my own opinion, the actively cracking down on dual nationality in Japan may be a wise choice, even though the practice to require one to make a decision seems a little cruel. But what I am thinking of is that it’s better for one to choose which country one belongs to. In this way, it will be more clearly who is responsible for you, but you don’t have to cut the tie with the other country. It’s just like choosing your belief. To our motherland, we should become a faithful, loyal and devoted national.

By Yan Yinyan