Japan and Hafu Nationality

by Reina Doi

Imagine that your parents have an international marriage (one of your parents is Japanese), and you are living as hafu in Japan. In your house, two type of cultures are mixed, and you belong to two countries through your experiences. However, if you were 22, you would have to choose one country as a nationality. You used to have two nationalities that your parent’s home country, but you can choose only one nationality, so you automatically have to abandon one nationality, though you have two countries’ identity.

Do you think that situation is unreasonable? I think many people think “I want to keep both nationalities like before!”. However, this is real story that hafu people face. In Japan, dual citizenship is not admitted, and as I say before, hafu are forced to choose one nationality by age 22. Many countries such as America, France and UK allow dual citizenship, and hafu get guarantee from country.  Why Japan does not admit like other countries? I think the reason relates to dual citizenship demerits. In America, there are many immigrants from all over the world, and America give citizenship for them. It seems good, but American government does not officially support dual citizenship, because if person has two nationalities, it would be trouble when person committed one country’s law. Besides, it is annoying to some Americans that some people might come to America for giving birth, and the children get American nationality, and then go back to their home country.

Thus, dual citizenship has some negative aspects. However, I think Japan should allow dual citizenship. Globalization is coming to Japan too, and we cannot stop this stream. Some people believes that Japan is homogeneous country, but that is not true. Many foreigners are lived as a worker and international marriage is getting more and more. Therefore Japan should prepare that follow globalization. Japan does not have enough care and guarantee for foreigner, and even hafu. Hafu is also increasing (one out of thirty baby is hafu) recently, so Japan have to think whether continuing present nationality’s system or not. I think giving up one nationality means forcing to lose one own identity from government, so Japan should give right to choose that hafu choose one or keep two nationalities.

To join global society, Japan should quit old system, and accept new style. More people should come, and Japan’s lived foreigners and hafu will increase. Therefore I think it is time that Japan prepare and take action for hafu to live better in Japan.

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One thought on “Japan and Hafu Nationality

  1. Japanese government unfortunately lacks the vision of a multiracial nation like other OECD countries. Canada and USA are light years ahead. Population decline and low birth rate will not make Japan reconsider.

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