Dual citizenship
in Japan

A “don’t ask,
don’t tell” policy
leaves many
in the dark

Sakura Murakami
and Cory Baird


Japan's Nationality Act asks young adults with multiple citizenships to choose one country, but it appears that not everyone does. Many choose to live in the gray zone. Similarly, many Japanese seeking a life abroad are required to give up their Japanese passport. How long can Japan look the other way?

The Japan Times / Getty Images

Seeking elusive answers to a big question

Forfeiting your citizenship might seem like a strange way to better connect with your country, but Hana Dethlefsen was compelled to make such a decision after getting caught up in the complicated legal web of Japan’s Nationality Act.

“I had to give up my Japanese nationality in order to qualify for the JET Programme, which I did at age 21. My understanding was that I would have to give it up at age 22 anyway, so giving it up one year earlier wouldn’t have made a difference,” Dethlefsen said. JET is a state-sponsored program that invites non-Japanese college graduates to work mainly as language teachers at local schools.

“(But) in my discussions with other half-Japanese friends, I’ve come to understand that we all have different understandings of what is acceptable,” said Dethlefsen, who now has German and Canadian citizenship.

Confusion about the legality of holding dual nationalities stems from the opaqueness of the law and the difficulties surrounding its enforcement, causing some to forfeit one of their nationalities while others live in fear of a day when they are forced to choose between their citizenship, identity and family ties.

The nationality law officially obliges those who have multiple citizenships by birthright to choose one by the age of 22.

But in fact, possibly hundreds of thousands have maintained multiple nationalities and to date the government has never cracked down on any of them.

In response to questions over the number of dual nationals, the Justice Ministry confirmed to The Japan Times that some 890,000 people were or are in a position to have dual nationality. This figure is based on official family registries maintained by local municipalities between 1985 and 2016, and includes people who have declared or forfeited Japanese citizenship, as well as people assumed to have multiple nationalities based on their birthright.

According to a survey conducted by The Japan Times of 1,449 people with dual nationalities, 76.8 percent maintain dual citizenship while 23.2 percent decided to forfeit one of their passports.

The same survey showed that 39.5 percent of multiple passport holders “always” switch passports depending on the country they enter, while 37.3 percent “sometimes” switch passports.

With the government’s official position becoming more divorced from a globalizing society where a large number of people maintain dual nationalities, many have to rely on word-of-mouth for information on what they see as an important, life-changing decision regarding their citizenship.

“We had received different information about what is and isn’t acceptable, and therefore, some of us had dual nationality and some of us had given up our Japanese citizenship when we came of age,” Dethlefsen said.

May, who declined to give her real name for this article, citing privacy concerns, has both Japanese and Australian citizenship. She told The Japan Times that years ago when she was unsure about what to do with her dual nationalities, she often relied on internet forums and social media websites such as Mixi to connect with others in similar situations.

“We would talk about what we would do with our dual citizenship, we would try to give each other anecdotal advice. This is still the same now. These topics come up all the time and nobody knows the answer,” she said.

“When I renewed my passport most recently — two years ago — I had a massive meltdown because there was a new section where I had to report whether I had dual nationality. I bawled my eyes out. … I was worried I would have to give up one of my citizenships,” she continued.

Like May, many dual citizens are surprised to see that passport renewal forms include a section regarding dual nationality. This is in order to confirm whether the applicant has naturalized as a citizen of another country, which under the law would automatically mean the revocation of their Japanese passport, according to a Foreign Ministry official.

But having multiple passports does not mean that the ministry won’t issue a Japanese passport, the official added, since the Foreign Ministry does not track dual citizens.

While the murkiness over the law has left those with multiple nationalities anxious about their status and has prompted many to take steps to hide it, many dual nationals spoke of experiences that seem to indicate the government has been quick to look the other way when it comes to enforcing the law.

“I remember I once stupidly handed in the wrong passport — my American one instead of my Japanese one — at the immigration desk for Japanese passports,” Chris, who also requested anonymity when talking to The Japan Times, said of an experience when entering Japan.

“There was a moment of panic but the Japanese immigration agent just said, ‘No sir, the other passport.’ I handed in my Japanese passport and he took it, stamped it, and let me pass. … It was as if he had experienced this kind of situation multiple times, and saw this particular episode as a nonissue,” he said.

Yet, there appear to be some cases where dual nationals have experienced pressure from local government officials to choose between one of their nationalities.

That was the case for James, who requested he be identified by his first name only. During a visit to his local government office, he was informed, much to his surprise, that he also was a Japanese national. Since James had already registered as a foreign resident at the same local government office, it was obvious to the local officials that he, in fact, possessed multiple nationalities.

When he decided to register as a Japanese citizen, the local city officials appeared to be agitated by the decision.

“Because I was already registered as a foreigner, it caused quite a stir at the city office. … An employee told me that I needed to turn in my American passport to the city office and sign a document saying that I give up my American citizenship,” James recalled.

“I said that I’m not comfortable doing that (giving up my American citizenship), and that I’d like to consult a lawyer familiar with this type of issue. … (The official) said that I was just unwilling to do things that were inconvenient. I left after that, feeling pretty bad about the experience.”

One factor behind the confusion over the law is that it fails to specify any penalties against dual nationals who do not pick a nationality. It instead only states that the justice minister reserves the right to “warn” them to choose a nationality. If a dual national does not make a choice within a month of receiving the warning, their Japanese nationality is automatically revoked.

However, this right to warn such nationals under the 1985 revision of the nationality law has never been exercised, a Justice Ministry official confirmed earlier this month, partly because the act of tracking down citizens with multiple nationalities and encouraging them to make a choice would be a bureaucratic nightmare.

“We actually cannot be sure about who has multiple nationalities,” Kei Kurayoshi, then the ministry official in charge of nationality issues, told a parliamentary session in 2008.

“Given that uncertainty, sending reminders to those we just happen to know have multiple nationalities by chance is a questionable practice,” Kurayoshi said. “There are a lot of opinions about this, but we have not sent out any reminders due to such reasons.”

That is not to say that the law itself is completely ineffective, because in theory Japanese citizenship could be revoked if a dual national does not make a choice. Its very existence serves as a threat, said Yasuhiro Okuda, a law professor at Chuo University who specializes in the Nationality Act.

Even if it may be only on paper and not in practice, the official stance that one can have just a single citizenship sends a powerful message to those with multiple nationalities.

“I strongly connect with my Japanese heritage, but I don’t feel welcomed by Japan. Having to choose a nationality at age 22 was the first formal instance of feeling as though I was ‘not Japanese enough,’ ” Dethlefsen said.

This sentiment was echoed by Chris.

“If I were forced to decide which citizenship to retain and which citizenship to relinquish, I would view it as which culture and which nation am I to abandon,” he said. “I think of that decision as emotionally charged.”

Michiko, who asked to be identified only by her first name, was born to a Japanese mother and a German father but never lived here and only received her Japanese passport at the age of 22 on a visit to Japan. She was unaware of the intricacies of having dual nationalities in Japan, yet she could tell that something didn’t feel quite right when her mother took her to the local municipality to get her first Japanese passport.

“When we got the passport in Japan at the local city hall, it didn’t feel legal to me,” she said. “It felt a little weird. I never researched it or anything … but I just had this feeling that it was illegal to have a second passport.

This climate of fear is creating a vicious cycle of negativity, said Teru Sasaki, professor of sociology at Aomori Public University.

“For some, nationality is the final stronghold of the Japanese identity. The very notion of dual nationality challenges that and creates fear for those who are unfamiliar with the concept,” said Sasaki.

Regardless of whether dual nationality is tacitly approved or not, “the idea of single nationality also tied in with, and reinforced, the Japanese postwar belief in a pure, homogeneous nation-state,” said Atsushi Kondo, a professor at Meijo University in Nagoya. “The wording of the current law shows a very strong hope in maintaining that ideal.”

Sasaki noted that this climate of fear became especially prominent during last year’s media frenzy over whether Renho, who at the time was leader of the Democratic Party, held both Japanese and Taiwanese citizenship.

“The recent public backlash over whether Renho had dual nationality created an atmosphere of fear for the individual,” he said.

As multiple citizens languish under this cloud of uncertainty, any hopes of spurring momentum on the issue within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party has been lost in the wake of the Renho furor. In addition to the already entrenched beliefs about identity, this lack of political momentum has contributed to the inertia surrounding the law.

“The question of nationality is an issue of great significance to nationalists, as well as some politicians,” said Kondo, who expressed his skepticism that any changes to the nationality law would come about.

He added that Renho’s case is an example of the reluctance to change the political climate, saying that “Some politicians made a big fuss about the possibility that she was a dual national, despite the fact that none of the facts were confirmed.”

Even politicians once in favor of changing the law appear to be avoiding commenting on what has become a politically charged issue.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono — who was once a vocal champion of changing the law and even published a proposal that allowed dual citizenship under certain conditions — has taken a noticeably softer stance on the issue.

When asked earlier this month by The Japan Times whether the Nationality Act was outdated, Kono was curt in his answer, refusing to champion a cause he once served.

“You should ask the Justice Ministry,” he said.

The Japan Times / Getty Images

Nationality over birthright? A very tough call

Louise George Kittaka
Contributing writer

Perhaps German national Heike’s short but poignant comment best sums up the feelings of many parents with children of dual nationalities in Japan.

“Having to choose a nationality is like asking a child, ’Whom do you like better, your mom or your dad?’”

But every year thousands of young adults are compelled to make such a choice under Japan’s contentious Nationality Act and, at least symbolically, forfeit part of their cultural identity.

In Japan’s traditionally paternalistic society, children of international marriages could once only obtain Japanese citizenship through their father, but changes to the law in 1984 bestowed the same rights on those with a Japanese mother and foreign father. Under the law, these dual national offspring of international marriages born on or after Jan. 1, 1985, when the new law went into effect, must give up one of their citizenships by their 22nd birthday.

In reality, Japan has not followed up with these dual nationals to insist they follow the letter of the law. Even though the oldest of this post-1985 generation are now of an age to be having families of their own, they continue to quietly retain two citizenships. (Notable exceptions are those pursuing military or diplomatic careers or seeking public office.) The government has adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach, which seems to suit both parties for the time being.

Parents of children already or soon to be in the “gray zone” spoke to The Japan Times about their thoughts on the matter. Although the government is not coming after their children for now, parents are still cautious, and some did not want to use their real names in this article.

The general advice from parents is to neither flaunt dual citizenship nor lie about it. Japanese passport application forms have a box to check if you hold another citizenship, and while it may be tempting to skip this, parents caution against it, just in case it ever comes back to haunt your child.

“My oldest is now 30 and has dual Japan-U.S. nationality. She got new passports about five years ago after marrying a Japanese man,” says Alyson, one of several people interviewed who declined to give their full name. “She never denies having dual citizenship when applying for the Japanese passport. That application is a government document, so I told my children never to lie about being dual.”

Frank is the father of two young bicultural adults. “Although totally born and raised in Japan, I wanted them to have what I consider the serious advantages of a Canadian passport and citizenship, so they have both,” he says. When traveling abroad, they have continued to exit and enter Japan on their Japanese passports, and have not had any problems so far. Frank advises them to keep things low-key with regard to mentioning their dual status in daily life.

A common complaint is that making young adults choose one citizenship over another denies them potential opportunities that parents see as their children’s natural birthright.

“Asking people to choose between Japan and their other country is legally asking them to stop acknowledging half of their identity. It denies the importance of the other culture and community of which they are a part,” says Tanja McCandie, an assistant professor in Meijo University’s Faculty of Foreign Studies. “We see opportunities that may be taken from our children if they are forced to decide which half they legally wish to be recognized as.”

American Elise questions the timing of suddenly expecting young adults to choose at an age when many are finishing up university or just starting careers. “My thoughts are, why make a 22-year-old choose? They are having a hard enough time as it is figuring out what they want to do with their lives. I want my daughter to be able to choose either way when she is more settled into her adult life and has a much clearer idea of what she wants.”

Under the law, Japanese citizens who demonstrate an intention to obtain non-Japanese citizenship are said to be renouncing their status as a Japanese national.

Hiromichi Murakami is a father to two young sons with dual citizenship. He points out that Japanese who acquire or try to acquire additional citizenship as adults are a completely different matter from children born with two nationalities. “Our children have blood connections with both sides of their family and heritage cultures.”

However, he notes that this idea of having two cultures goes against Japanese tradition. “It is difficult for Japan to change this law, which is deeply connected to its history and culture.”

Caren, an American of Japanese ancestry and mother of two, concurs. “I think there are many people in this country who equate Japanese citizenship with being Japanese. As an American-Japanese, I have had to explain countless times how I can be of 100 percent Japanese ancestry and still be an American,” she says.

“Also, many are totally ignorant of this country’s laws regarding citizenship, hence the common assumption that people such as myself — married to a Japanese — automatically become Japanese citizens.” Caren feels that the Japanese educational system and the government’s “ethnocentric attitude” contribute to this situation.

In view of the current state of Japanese society, some people believe it is only a matter of time before the government relaxes its stance on dual citizenship.

“With the graying population and related funding crisis for pensions, I am surprised the Japanese government isn’t approaching this from a practical perspective. Not the best time to push away potential taxpayers!” says Jaclyn, who is American. For a country with one of the lowest birthrates in the world, it would seem prudent not to make any moves that might spark an exodus of young adults of working age.

Japanese father Takashi points that there is only so much control the government can exert. “With the numbers of international marriages and multicultural people rising, there’s a limit to how much the government can continue to regulate things,” he says. “You could end up with a disconnect between the nationality people choose and how they identify with it. It’s problematic to force people to adopt a national characteristic.”

One group campaigning for a change in the Nationality Act is the Association for Multicultural Families (AMF, or Kokusai Kekkon wo Kangaeru Kai in Japanese). Founded in 1980, the group aims to support those in international marriages and help create a society where everyone can thrive, regardless of nationality.

“As noted on our home page, we are collecting signatures for two campaigns: One is a petition to abolish the law calling for duals to choose one nationality (at age 22), and the other is to demand that a person who has Japanese nationality does not automatically lose it upon gaining a second one,” says spokesperson Junko Tashiro. “These petitions are being submitted to the Japanese government through a member of the Diet twice a year.” Tashiro points out that the current laws are hindering Japanese citizens here and abroad, limiting the potential role they can play in society.

Even if a dual national tries to follow the law and renounce one citizenship, it can be a frustrating experience, as Yvonne’s son is finding. He has Japanese and American citizenship but has settled in a third country and wishes to relinquish his American passport. “He doesn’t want the hassle of having to file his taxes in two countries, but he’s not allowed to say he’s giving (it) up for tax reasons, so he printed something out from the internet that says a Japanese citizen can’t have dual citizenship to submit with his paperwork,” she reports.

“The American Embassy staff laughed at him at first and couldn’t believe that anyone would give up his U.S. citizenship! All of the forms and paperwork is done online but he also needs an interview. It’s been about eight months and they still haven’t scheduled an interview for him.” Yvonne adds that the process will cost $2,350, making the whole exercise costly both in terms of money and time.

In the meantime, Japan’s growing cohort of dual nationals by birth will continue to quietly operate in the gray zone, until such a time as the Japanese government decides to put their status under scrutiny.

Hitoshi Nogawa, a plaintiff in a lawsuit targeting Japan's ban on dual citizenship, holds up his invalidated passport at a news conference in Tokyo on March 12. SAKURA MURAKAMI

Is the Nationality Act constitutional?

By Sakura Murakami
Staff writer

Although Japanese by lineage, Hideo Kimura is required to queue as a foreign traveler at passport control when returning home to Japan.

“I get strange looks from the immigration officer,” Kimura said, recounting how it feels to enter Japan as a Japanese person with a Swiss passport. “I’ve gotten used to it, but it’ll never feel right.”

Kimura is one of eight people, six of whom lost their Japanese nationality when they became naturalized citizens of foreign countries, to have jointly filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court against the government last month, claiming Article 11 of the Nationality Act is unconstitutional.

The article stipulates that those who naturalize to another country will automatically lose their Japanese citizenship.

The plaintiffs claim that the practice violates Article 13 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to pursue happiness, as well as other articles of the supreme law. The lawsuit is believed to be the first such case filed with a court in Japan.

Some of the plaintiffs recently spoke to The Japan Times about the pain they experienced from having their nationalities suddenly taken away without their consent.

“I would have been fine with having my nationality revoked if I had agreed to it, but I can’t condone being cut off from my country so arbitrarily,” said Hitoshi Nogawa, who claims he wasn’t aware that his Japanese nationality would be automatically revoked when naturalizing as a Swiss citizen.

Mari Kanada, a pseudonym for a woman who requested anonymity when speaking to The Japan Times, said that when her father naturalized her as a Swiss citizen when she was a child, the move felt as if her heart “was shredded into pieces.”

Kanada said she “couldn’t stop crying” when she turned in a document to the embassy, which confirmed that she had naturalized and finalized the loss of her Japanese passport.

For George Tsuneo Seo, who naturalized as a citizen of Liechtenstein and saw his Japanese citizenship revoked, the move was a shock to his system.

“Having my nationality taken away was completely outrageous. More than anything, I was angry,” he said.

“I will always identify as Japanese,” he added.

The plaintiffs have also struggled to come to terms with what they say is the unfair implementation of the Nationality Act.

Article 14 of the act obliges anyone not of legal age with dual Japanese citizenship to choose one of their nationalities by the age of 22.

But Kanada said she knew a number of acquaintances who were of mixed Japanese heritage who had not yet given up either of their nationalities even when they were well into adulthood.

In fact, the Justice Ministry has never warned any dual nationals to make a choice, effectively allowing many to maintain their dual nationalities.

Kanada said it’s “unfair” that only those who honestly report their nationality statuses to the authorities are deprived of their Japanese citizenship, with the government turning a blind eye to many others with dual nationality.

This disinterest from both the government — there has been little political momentum for revising the Nationality Act — and the general population has left the plaintiffs deeply frustrated.

“I talk to my family and friends about this, but they never seem very interested. They don’t think that the loss of my nationality is much of an issue,” Kimura said.


To renounce or not to renounce . . .

The following are comments offered to The Japan Times by those who responded to a survey on dual nationality and related follow-up questions. Their comments follow their sex (when available), their current or past nationalities, age range and what he or she decided to do with the nationalities.

United States Japan
U.S.-Japanese, 20s, maintains both nationalities

“I was worried about this law after the age of 22 and I had to renew my American passport. I ended up worrying for nothing because when I went to the American consulate and Japanese city offices they both mentioned Nationality Law but neither did anything to enforce it. I use both passports freely with little trouble.”

United States Japan
U.S.-Japanese, 20s, forfeited Japanese citizenship

“I renounced my Japanese citizenship due to my work. I felt like I betrayed my Japanese side of the family, when it was definitely not my intention. It’s like cutting an orange in half, removing the inside for one half, and gluing it back together.”

Canada Germany Japan
Female, Canadian-German-Japanese, 30s, forfeited Japanese citizenship

“Having to choose a nationality at age 22 was the first formal instance of feeling as though I was ‘not Japanese enough,’ but I am often reminded in other ways that I am not ‘Japanese’ by people in Japan because of how I look. Decisions to give up a nationality can have huge consequences on the lives of people and their children, so it’s not enough to tacitly allow dual nationality without explicitly stating it. It is not morally right that some people are able to keep both citizenships and other aren’t, simply because different people receive different information.”

United States Japan
Male, U.S.-Japanese, 30s, maintains both nationalities

“I am usually very nervous when I approach the customs desk. I also get self-conscious waiting in line for the Japanese passport-holder queue, as I am more Caucasian-looking than I am Japanese-looking. However, I do not remember ever being questioned by an attendant as I wait in line.”

Mexico Japan
Male, Mexican-Japanese, 30s, maintains both nationalities

“At that time, Mexico was already accepting dual citizenship but didn’t have an option to renounce the Mexican citizenship. In the Japanese embassy they actually told me to add a letter explaining that I was willing to give up the Mexican citizenship but it was not technically possible.”

UK Japan
Male, British-Japanese, 30, maintains both nationalities

“I don’t see why it would cause any problems for me (to) have dual nationality, particularly as many countries already allow it. If they are worried about loyalty then maybe they could put restrictions on people in certain positions in the government or military, for instance.”

UK Japan
Female, British-Japanese, 20s, maintains both nationalities

“Mixed people go through identity crisis anyway, so making you choose one reinforces that identity crisis.”

United States Japan
Female, U.S.-Japanese, 29, maintains both nationalities

“My parents were concerned because if I enter this gray area I may not be accepted in either country. To be biracial and be able to say you have citizenship can open doors for you. It allows you to work in those places. If you can speak both languages, you can have that leverage to connect both countries culturally and in the workplace.”

Australia Japan
Australian-Japanese, 30, forfeited Japanese citizenship

“I feel like I have been forced to give up part of my heritage, as I am now legally treated as a foreigner in the country where half of my extended family resides. This affects my ability to stay in Japan for an extended period of time, and to work there if I want to.”

United States Japan
Male, U.S.-Japanese, 20s, maintains both nationalities

“My mother worked really hard to earn Japanese citizenship as she naturalized from China. Losing my Japanese citizenship wouldn’t affect me economically because I live in the U.S., but because of my family history, my citizenship there is very significant to me, sentimentally.

“One time I went to Japanese customs with both passports. When I went to customs I took out both passports and asked them how to enter. He asked me why I was here, and I said I was here to work. He said I had to hurry and pick one. Once I got in the country there was no follow up.”

United States Japan
Male, U.S.-Japanese, 20s, maintains both nationalities

“I haven’t had help from friends. I’ve been relying on anecdotal advice from people I know or friends of friends who happen to have two citizenships.

“Growing up I tended to be shyer, I usually followed the rules, I was more conscious of the feelings of other people than my American peers, I liked Japanese things such as anime and manga, and so on. After visiting Japan, I realized that I was not weird, and that my behavior was normal for Japanese people. I learned a lot about myself being in Japan and I value my Japanese citizenship a great deal.

“I’m worried now that there will be some unforeseen problem with my citizenship and I won’t be able to stay or work when I go back. So I hope the law changes to affirmatively accept people with two citizenships and allow people like me to live and work in Japan, pay taxes, and benefit society properly without feeling like I’m doing something wrong or untoward.”

Australia Japan
Female, Australian-Japanese, 30s, maintains both nationalities

“I have many half-Japanese friends who don’t have citizenship who love Japan and want to live here but it’s hard for them due to visa issues. These people are smart global people. I feel like it could only be a benefit to Japan. Maybe someone could take advantage of (easier routes to citizenship) but so many other countries allow it, so it must be working for them.

“I want to be a part of the conversation to change these laws, but unfortunately because it’s illegal I can’t be open about it.”

germany Japan
Male, German-Japanese, 30, maintains both nationalities

“It’s really funny because once I applied for a program/fellowship to go to Japan and I got accepted. I applied with my German passport but then through the process it came out that I have a Japanese passport, and at that point I couldn’t do it anymore because the program was only for foreigners.”

United States Japan
U.S.-Japanese, 20s, maintains both nationalities

“For me, I’ve kept both nationalities because it’s a matter of identity. Being forced to choose one over the other is like being forced to choose a limb to hack off, come age 22. It shouldn’t be a crime to want to maintain a connection with the country of one’s roots. I’ve paid taxes in both countries, I vote, I occasionally volunteer. I’m a law-abiding citizen (except for the citizenship thing), and am just a bit fed up with being told that I’m a threat to national security for wanting to preserve my heritage.

“I suspect Japan has lost many valuable citizens due to its ridiculous policy, which basically sends the message, ‘We only want you if you’re 100 percent Japanese.'”

United States Japan
U.S.-Japanese, 30s, forfeited Japanese citizenship

“Other countries may also have jurisdiction over their citizens in Japan, for example they prosecute actions which are not crimes here but are crimes in that country. We should try to avoid this kind of legal confusion and conflict in Japan. The prohibition on dual citizenship is an appropriate way of dealing with these kinds of conflicts of jurisdiction.”

UK Japan
British-Japanese, 20s, maintains both nationalities

“Growing up, I was always connected to Japan through TV, books and yearly visits. Currently I have moved to Japan to work. I am really enjoying my experience and have realized that I am more Japanese in many ways. For someone to tell me that I have to stop being Japanese or British is, in all honesty, devastating. I have to decide between the country I grew up in or the country I was born in and feel very connected to.”

United States Japan
U.S.-Japanese, 30s, maintains both nationalities

“The American Embassy is very clear to explain to you that your American Citizenship is between you and America. Japan has no ability to check into your citizenship status and would be denied access if they tried.”

Australia Japan
Australian-Japanese, 20s, maintains both nationalities

“My dual nationality is not only beneficial for myself, but it also allows me to greater enhance the broader Australia-Japan relationship through my professional work too.

“Japan’s position on dual nationals is lamentable, and it will only continue to isolate and lose extremely talented individuals if its stance does not change. We have seen people ranging from business professionals to Nobel laureates having to choose their nationality due to Japan’s archaic laws, and often times Japan does lose out.”

This story was published in April 19, 2018 edition of The Japan Times.

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