by Asako Morita
At the present day, Japanese government does not allow a person to have dual or multiple citizenships after the age of 22. The person who has it needs to choose one citizenship he or she wants to hold. Many European countries and Australia for example, allow dual citizenship since numbers of people immigrated there. Along the globalization, it is more convenient and easier for us to live another country. Global economy is now expanding all over the world and flow of people is more active. Although Japan is a nearly homogeneous country, more and more people are facing difficult choice. In this short essay, I would like to argue why Japan needs to allow dual citizenship at the view of rights of residents and making ties to global society.
First, if the person who already holds dual citizenship and has lived or has ties to Japan, they should have rights as a citizen. Becoming the citizenship means citizens have rights which people usually regard them as perfectly normal. The disqualification of becoming public workers and election rights are unfair to the person who lives in Japan for a long time and pay a tax as almost same as “Japanese”. They may want to become Japanese citizens but also they still do not want to give up on their other nationality of their roots. It is not they do not like Japan but the choice of their identity is an extreme to them. The Japanese politicians concern that admitting dual citizenship leads to undermine national loyalty. However, people who live in Japan for a long time or related to Japan must have feeling for the nation somehow. Pessimistic fear of manipulation of the nationality takes valuable rights from a number of people.
Second, the advantages of admitting dual citizenship are remarkably large. Especially, the tie to people from other countries become strong and it enhances economic advantage. Many Japanese who are quite active and achieves successful outcome in other countries have to give up on Japanese nationality. Once they let the nationality go away, they hardly come back to Japan and the relation to Japan easily fade when generation passes. The case of Ireland, which admits dual citizenship, proves people who once left the country for immigration and succeeded in various fields lately came back and produces prosperous economic condition. I think in this global trend, Japan should be tolerant to dual citizenship so that Japanese business can easily recruit a talented person who have experienced in another countries. We should not forget many variable Japanese people who live all over the world.
Therefore, I believe Japan should admit dual citizenship. As globalization move advance and more and more flow of people are active, the advantages of admitting dual citizenship are getting bigger and conservative perspective takes rights of great number of people away. I think it is advisable for the Japanese future to admit dual citizenship for not losing more Japanese all over the world.
Coming from a non-Japanese myself, I think Japan should allow multiple (if not necessarily dual) citizenship–but they should impose the “permission required” policy (a policy of German-speaking countries wherein a person should apply for permission first from the government before obtaining another citizenship).
However, I’m actually pertaining to foreigners who wish to naturalize as Japanese citizens, but are still willing to retain the citizenship they’re born with. Yeah, so I consider myself as a spokesperson (unofficial) for them.