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Foreign-born Japanese

From Academic Kids

A foreign-born Japanese is a person who was originally born outside Japan and later acquired Japanese citizenship. This category encompasses persons of both Japanese and non-Japanese descent. The former subcategory is considered because of intricacies of national and international laws regarding the citizenship of newborn persons.

By Japanese laws, adult persons generally cannot hold both foreign citizenship and Japanese citizenship (dual nationality):

  • those who have acquired dual nationality before age 20 must choose a single nationality before reaching age 22.
  • those who have acquired dual nationality after age 20 must choose a single nationality in 2 years.

The government also require them to adopt a Japanese name.

Unlike countries like the United States, the place in which a person is born matters little but if he or she has a citizenship of Japan does. For example, no law forbids a foreign-born Japanese to be elected as a member of Diet (as Tsurunen Marutei in fact became one), thus in theory he may become the Prime Minister of Japan.

Probably because of the difficulty of gaining citizenship and because of cultural difference, foreign-born Japanese people account for a very small percentage of the demography in Japan. Unlike other countries where people born natively are automatically given a citizenship, many who are born and live in Japan permanently, particularly Korean and Chinese, tend to maintain their citizenship. There has been a constant discussion among the government and lawmakers whether to give them some status similar to that of a permanent resident in the United States.

Notable foreign-born Japanese

See also

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