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soc.culture.japan FAQ [Monthly Posting] [2/3]
Section - (6.7) What are the laws for Japanese citizenship at birth?

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Last update: 4/96
From: Mike Fester (mfester@iisc.com)

[disclaimer] The following was written by an individual who is not an
expert, nor a lawyer in the matter in question. The information is
believed to be correct, but don't say you weren't warned if it's
wrong.

0.  If both parents are Japanese citizens then the child is a Japanese
citizen; though if the child is known to have a second citizenship for
some reason (such as being born in a country that grants citizenship
due to place of birth) then rules for dual citizens apply.

1.  If one parent is a Japanese citizen and one parent is a non-Japanese
citizen, then the child is a Japanese citizen, but must choose by age 22
whether to keep Japanese citizenship or the other citizenship.  The child's
choice is recognized legally by Japan.  The child's choice might or might
not be recognized by the other country, so the child might choose Japan and
still be a dual citizen when in the other country or maybe third countries.
Until recently, this was the rule only if the father was the Japanese
citizen -- if the mother was the Japanese citizen, the child might become
stateless as a result.  But the law no longer discriminates by parent's sex.

Note: For a child born overseas, the child MUST be entered in the family
registry of the Japanese parent, technically withing 30 days of the child's
birth. This can be done at the nearest Japanese embassy.

2.  If both parents are non-Japanese, then the child is not a Japanese
citizen.  Status depends only on the laws of the countries of the parents'
citizenships, and maybe of the country where the child was born.

3.  If the parents are not married but both recognize the child as theirs,
the above rules still apply.

4.  If the parents are not married and the father does not recognize the
child as his, then only the mother's citizenship (and possibly the child's
place of birth) determine the child's citizenship(s).

5.  If both parents are unknown and the child was born in Japan, then the
law says that the child is a Japanese citizen.  This case has probably not
been tested recently in the courts or otherwise, so the status of such a
child will probably in reality, be stateless.

Such a case was tested, and last year (1995) the final verdict rendered; the
child in question was granted Japanese citizenship, over the objections of the
Japanese government. The court cited the intention of the law, which is to
specifically PREVENT children born in Japan from being stateless. The
government had argued that the mother was "probably" a Filippina, and lower
courts had alternately accepted and rejected the government's argument. The
US-born missionary championing the child's case pursued the matter all the
way to the Japanese Supreme Court, where the above-mentioned verdict was
rendered.

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Top Document: soc.culture.japan FAQ [Monthly Posting] [2/3]
Previous Document: (6.6.3) Currency exchange; sending cash to/from Japan

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM