Does Japanese mono-citizenship policy limit diversity of thoughts and activities?

by Naoko Yoshida

In the last class, we talked about dual-citizenship. Our group was in the negative side, and we ended up with a conclusion that dual-citizenship can make a big confusion of political regulations, laws, and sanction, and that is why Japanese government does not allow us to have more than one citizenship. However, actually, since all of students from our group personally agree to allow dual-citizenship, we focused more on positive side. One of the topics we discussed at that time was relationship between citizenship, and thought and activities. I believe Japanese policy of mono-citizenship limits diversity of thoughts and activities. In this essay, I will discuss relation between citizenships and thoughts by using an example of a friend of mine.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Justice, everyone who has both Japanese citizenship and foreign citizenship should choose his/her citizenship before he/she becomes 22 year-old or within two years after he/she has got dual-citizenship. Otherwise he/she could lose his/her Japanese citizenship.

During my studying abroad in the US, I made friends with one Japanese-American man. His father was born in America, and his mother was born in Japan and moved to America because of her marriage. Since he is still 19 years old, he is one of the people who have both Japanese citizenship and American citizenship. He told me that he is still wondering whether he will keep having either his Japanese citizenship or his American one. Although his personality seems more like American than Japanese, he has been really proud of himself as Japanese and he really loves Japanese custom. Moreover there seems a much stronger likelihood that he would get Japanese citizenship if he had no dream. His dream is to be in the American military. In order to be in American military, he should have American citizenship. In other words, he should give up on his Japanese citizenship if he makes his dream come true. That is why he is still in wonder if he gets Japanese or American citizenship. Of course, I think one’s citizenship do not greatly influence one’s way of thinking. But if Japanese government allowed us to have dual-citizenship, he would live both as American and Japanese. By not allowing having two citizenships, his thoughts and activities as Japanese would be limited. By knowing that fact, I feel like by mono-citizenship policies, Japanese government limits diversity of thoughts and citizenship’s activities by itself.

In conclusion, Japanese mono-citizenship policy limits the diversity of thoughts and activities of their citizenship. That is why, I agree that Japanese citizenships should be allowed to have dual-citizenship.


Japanese Ministry of Justice.国籍選択について. Retrieved October 22nd from

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