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

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

by Sayaka Umei

Dual citizens are the people who have more than one citizenship. In Japan people have to choose one of them when they are 22 years old but in some countries people do not have to choose it, which is why they can have two citizenships. I think Japan needs to permit the dual citizenship because of two reasons below.

First, people can live better off in the host country if they are permitted to have dual citizenship. I have a friend who has American and Mexican citizenship. He was born in Mexico and moved into America when he was a little. He got the American citizenship because he needed to have been living in America for the rest of his life. When people live in one country, they need citizenship if they need to live contemporary. So they need the rights to live, pay taxes, use the taxes, use the medical care and so on. Moreover they need the protection against the crimes or wars. To be relieved that they can feel protected, they need to have citizenship literally.

Second, they can be proud of having two identities. Other friends of mine who have American citizenship and Japanese citizenship are really proud of their Japanese identity. He has Japanese parents but was born in America. He actually rose in America so he does not have Japanese background, culture, and custom but he is really proud of his Japanese nationality. When I hear their background, I was really glad because even though he does not know Japan so much, his nationalities are both America and Japan. Another friend has both American parents but he was born in Japan because his father is in army. He does not look Asian but he can speak Japanese and he really likes Okinawa where he was born and he love Japan as well. If he was born and grew up in America, he would never think about Japan. I think he will never come back to Japan because he was in Japan just because of his parent. If they are allowed to have dual citizenship, they will never think they are rejected to have Japanese and can be more proud of their nationalities.

Some people say there are some difficulties to have more than one citizenship to live in one country. Usually people do not pay attention at how many citizenship he has but occasionally when they travel around the world, or they want to join the army, dual citizenship is a kind of confusing. However, just Japanese government needs to establish the new law to correct, reduce, or clear these problems. Just they need to take an action to these problems.

Above all, I think Japan needs to admit the dual citizenship so that people who have dual citizenship can live better off and be proud of their nationalities and background.

Dual Citizenship as a Global Consensus

by Manami Suetomo

Recently, the world has become increasingly globalized, that is why we cannot neglect the problem about dual citizenship. In fact, the numbers of countries which allow dual citizenship have been increasing, especially in Europe and the United States. Globalization will make further progress the acceptance of dual citizenship.

Thorough the discussion in the last class, I think dual citizenship have to be decided as a global consensus. In addition to the discussion, there are some advantages and disadvantages to allow the dual citizenship. First, I will explain the advantages. If the dual citizenship is accepted, it might provide an important bridge between two countries. It might connect two countries together strongly, and also, it might progress to expand opportunities of business overseas because it can help the employees’ lives. In short, dual citizenship can forward globalized world and it progress the global economy in many ways. Next, I will explain the disadvantages. If people have dual citizenship, they have rights and responsibilities in each country and the duplication might bring problems. For example, if people have two citizenships in two countries which have military conscription, people would have to choose the country where they are inducted into the army. It means people cannot do theirs duty in another country. In addition, dual citizenship may accelerate the hollowing-out especially in the developing countries, because people can move in search of jobs which give more money.

It goes without saying that one thing these advantages and disadvantages I mentioned above have in common is that at least two countries are involved about it. Therefore, it has to be decided whether dual citizenship is allowed or not as a common decision. Furthermore, because every country could be these two countries, it is preferable that dual citizenship have to be legislated as a global consensus. Even if dual citizenship is not allowed, global legislation can avoid conflicts between the countries over the rights and responsibilities.

In my opinion, promotion of globalization by dual citizenship can become good opportunities to accelerate the movement of people, culture and economy, so every country should accept dual citizenship as a global consensus. The movement can develop the world. However, there are still problems like the hollowing-out in developing countries and stereotype that immigrants cause troubles. These problems must be solved before the adoption of dual citizenship and it is a big issue in the future of dual citizenship.

Should Japan allow dual citizenship?

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.

Dual Citizenship

by Natsumi Ichioka

In the last class, we discussed whether we allow dual citizenship or not. I agree with dual citizenship. Though I have only Japanese nationality, I would like to get another nationality if I could. There are two reasons.

First, I think dual citizens have more opportunities than single citizens. If you have the dual citizenship, you can go both countries anytime without visa. It is the extent of action. It also means when there are some urgent events for example funeral in one country, you can go there soon. It is so wastes of time to get a visa.

Secondly, there are so many countries which admit the dual citizenship. Japan doesn’t admit dual citizenship now. But, most of the developed countries admit it. U.S. government gave the nationality those who were born in U.S. Recently, the rates of the international marriage are getting high. The dual citizenship’s problems are so important in the world. In Japan, in 1984, the nationality constitution was reformed. People who were born before this reform and have dual citizenship have to decide one nationality by one’s effort. But this reform are not perfect, actually some people still have the dual citizenship in Japan. Japanese government tries to lose the dual citizenship, but it is impossible. So, we have to change this situation. I think Japan have to adopt with the foreign policy.

There are also some problems for example, crime, tax, war, conscription and so on. If you have a dual citizenship, and have a trouble in the foreign country, which country will help you? It is a complicated problem. Because I have a Japanese nationality, I can feel relief when I was in foreign country because Japanese government might help me when I have some trouble. It is the merit of the single citizenship.

But, we should adopt the positive trend in the world. There are so many people who have the dual citizenship in the world. We should not pay attention the negative case which deals with crime or war, but the way to make a good relation between the single nationality and dual citizenship. Japan has so many appeal points for example the skills of chemistry, the minds of the Japanese and so on. Most of Japanese people are proud of themselves. I think Japanese government admit the dual citizenship, the relationship with the foreign country becomes better. The world situations are changing for admitting the dual citizenships, Japan have to follow the changing as well. I hope many people who have in trouble with this problem can live more comfortably in Japan and in the world.

References 米国大使館 東京・日本

Dual Citizenship in Japan


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.


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.


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.


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