Will Japan accept dual citizenship someday?

by Rina Yoshikawa

Since the word “globalization” has become popular all over the world, many people began to meet new people that have different language or culture each other. Migrating to new countries for better jobs and international marriage are not unusual things anymore and it is easier to move across borders now.

However there are still many problems to live over borders since we do not share all the same laws or rules in the world. Even some policies have completely opposite views between countries. One is how nationality is granted when child is born that depends on whether the country takes “jus soli” or “jus sanguinis”.

I have a friend who is half-Japanese and half-French, born and grown up in France. She owns both citizenships since French law grants nationality based on the child’s place of birth and Japanese law grants nationality according to the child’s blood relations. She is now turning 22 and has to give up one of the citizenship. She is aware that she is comfortable with being as French but is not completely true. Since she was young she has tried to know what Japan is like and studied Japanese to communicate with her relatives living in Japan. It must be hard to choose one from two that both consists one’s self and cannot be changed.

Not only her but there are millions of people in a same situation in Japan. Children cannot choose where to be born. This is just adults’ ego in a society. Japan put too much emphasis on nation’s loyalties that are believed only who owns Japanese blood, are able to behave just like Japanese and looks like Japanese. Other excuses tend to be left away. I feel like this is just we are trying to protect ourselves and stay where we are without any advance or moving backward.

To allow dual citizenship is a big issue that concerns many things which may change Japanese society or even history drastically. It takes few years to adjust between international laws and Japanese ones. However, I think those people in a neutral situation have right to insist on both citizenship just like what they are. We cannot draw a complete line for it. Those cases that hold international matters such as mixed children will be more familiar since globalization develops more and more, and society needs to catch up and make changes as it goes. Japan is not an isolated island anymore.

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