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Can Japanese have dual nationality?


Japanese nationality laws have been known to be strict and complicated, and one of the most controversial issues is dual nationality. Many people in Japan and around the world are curious about whether Japanese citizens can have dual nationality. In this article, we will explore this question in detail.

What is dual nationality?

Dual nationality refers to a person who holds citizenship in two countries at the same time. It means that an individual has the legal right to enjoy the privileges and responsibilities of two countries.

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What are the laws governing nationality in Japan?

In Japan, the Nationality Act is the law that governs nationality. The Act stipulates that a Japanese national who acquires foreign nationality automatically loses their Japanese citizenship. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and we will discuss them later in this article.

Why does Japan not allow dual nationality?

Japan’s traditional view is that citizens should be loyal only to Japan and not hold allegiance to another country. Hence, the government believes that allowing dual nationality could lead to divided loyalties and create potential conflicts of interest.

What are the exceptions to Japan’s no dual nationality rule?

There are some exceptions to Japan’s no dual nationality rule. For example, a child born with dual nationality can keep both until they reach the age of 22. Additionally, if someone acquires foreign nationality due to marriage or by birth, they may be able to retain their Japanese citizenship if certain conditions are met.

Can Japanese citizens renounce their citizenship?

Yes, Japanese citizens can renounce their citizenship if they wish to acquire foreign citizenship. However, they must do so before acquiring another nationality to avoid losing their Japanese citizenship automatically.

What happens if a Japanese citizen violates the no dual nationality rule?

If a Japanese citizen violates the no dual nationality rule, they may lose their Japanese citizenship automatically. They may also face penalties such as fines or imprisonment.

How common is dual nationality in Japan?

Dual nationality is relatively rare in Japan. According to data from the Ministry of Justice, only 518 people had acquired permission for dual citizenship in Japan as of 2018.

What are the benefits of having dual nationality?

Having dual nationality can provide many benefits such as access to two countries’ job markets, education systems, healthcare, and social services. It can also allow for easier travel between countries and provide greater opportunities for personal and professional growth.

What are the downsides of having dual nationality?

Having dual nationality can also come with drawbacks such as potential conflicts of interest, double taxation burdens, and legal complications when traveling or living abroad. It may also require individuals to fulfill additional obligations such as military service or voting requirements in both countries.

What are some other countries’ policies on dual nationality?

Many countries around the world allow for dual citizenship, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.


In conclusion, while Japan’s Nationality Act prohibits its citizens from holding dual citizenship automatically, there are exceptions that allow for it under certain circumstances. Dual citizenship can bring significant benefits but also comes with potential challenges and complications. Understanding the laws governing your country’s citizenship is crucial when considering acquiring citizenship from another country.

Does Japan allow dual nationality?

One provision in the Nationality Law of Japan stipulates that Japanese individuals who intentionally obtain citizenship from another country will automatically forfeit their Japanese citizenship, which effectively prohibits dual citizenship. This rule is set to take effect on February 22, 2023.

What are the exceptions for dual citizenship in Japan?

Dual citizenship is not recognized in Japan with the exception of a child born abroad to Japanese parents who can acquire dual nationality if citizenship is also obtained in the country of birth. However, individuals with dual nationality must choose one nationality by the age of 22.

Can you be a U.S. citizen and live in Japan?

Expatriates from North America can experience a comfortable lifestyle in Japan due to its stable economy, government, and strong social services. However, it is worth noting that English is not widely spoken, with less than 30% of the population proficient in the language and only 2-8% being fluent in it.

Can a U.S. citizen become a Japanese citizen?

Japanese citizenship can be obtained by foreign individuals through either marriage or naturalization. It is crucial to note that Japan only acknowledges one citizenship per person. The Japanese Nationality Act, established in 1950, outlines the criteria for acquiring and relinquishing Japanese citizenship.

Can I have 3 citizenships in USA?

It is possible to have triple citizenship in the United States, and naturalized citizens are not required to give up their citizenship in their home country or any other countries. If you need help with the green card or naturalization process and want to explore your options, Boundless and RapidVisa can provide assistance.

How many Japanese have dual citizenship?

It is estimated that currently around 900,000 individuals in Japan hold dual citizenship, which includes those who have become citizens through naturalization and those born to marriages involving non-citizens. This information was reported on January 21, 2021.

It is important to note that the rules and regulations surrounding dual nationality can be complex and vary from country to country. In some cases, individuals may need to seek legal advice or consult with their respective embassies or consulates before pursuing dual citizenship.

Furthermore, individuals who hold dual citizenship must also be aware of their responsibilities and obligations in both countries. For example, they may be required to pay taxes in both countries, serve in the military for both countries, or abide by different voting regulations.

In recent years, there has been growing discussion and debate around the world regarding the benefits and drawbacks of dual nationality. Some argue that it promotes cultural exchange and facilitates international cooperation, while others argue that it undermines national unity and can lead to issues of security and loyalty.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue dual nationality is a personal one that should be made after careful consideration of all relevant factors. It is essential for individuals to understand the laws and regulations governing citizenship in their respective countries and seek appropriate guidance as needed.

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