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Does being born in Japan make you a citizen?

1. Introduction

Citizenship is a legal status that confers certain rights and privileges to individuals in a particular country. Being born in Japan does not automatically make you a citizen of the country, though it may be possible to become one through naturalization or other means. In this article, we’ll explore the history and current laws regarding Japanese citizenship, as well as the benefits and requirements for becoming a citizen of Japan.

2. History of Japanese Citizenship Law

Japan has had various forms of citizenship laws throughout its history. In 1889, the Meiji Constitution was enacted which established the foundation for Japan’s modern citizenship system. This constitution declared that all people born in Japan were citizens of the country, regardless of their parents’ nationality or ethnicity. However, this law was revised in 1947 when Japan adopted its current Constitution which states that only those whose father or mother is a Japanese national at the time of birth are eligible for Japanese citizenship.

Japanese Snack Box

3. Birthright Citizenship in Japan

Birthright citizenship is not granted by Japanese law and is not an option for those born in Japan. Under current law, only those with at least one parent who is a Japanese national are eligible to be citizens at birth. This means that if both parents are foreign nationals, then their child will not be eligible for Japanese citizenship even if they were born on Japanese soil.

4. Benefits of Japanese Citizenship

Japanese citizens enjoy many benefits such as the right to vote and access to public services such as healthcare and education that are typically reserved for citizens only. They also have access to certain government jobs and programs such as scholarships and grants which can help them pursue higher education or start businesses within Japan’s borders. Additionally, being a citizen also makes it easier to obtain visas for travel abroad since it eliminates the need to apply for visas every time one wishes to leave or enter the country.

5. Requirements for Japanese Citizenship

Becoming a citizen of Japan requires applicants to meet certain criteria including: being over 20 years old; having lived continuously in Japan for five years; having sufficient knowledge about the language, culture and customs; passing an examination on these subjects; providing proof of financial stability; having no criminal record; renouncing any other existing nationality; and paying an application fee (which varies depending on individual circumstances). Once these requirements are met, applicants must submit their applications along with all required documents to their local government office where they will undergo further screening before they can be granted citizenship status by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).

6. Dual Nationality in Japan

Dual nationality is allowed under some circumstances but it is generally discouraged by the MOJ due to potential conflicts between different countries’ laws that could arise if someone holds multiple citizenships simultaneously. As such, applicants must renounce any other existing nationalities before they can gain full rights as a citizen of Japan unless they can provide evidence that they have been able to successfully manage dual nationality without any issues arising from conflicting laws between two countries (such as tax laws).

7. Naturalization in Japan

Naturalization is another option available for those who wish to become citizens of Japan but do not meet all eligibility criteria set out by law (such as age limits). Naturalization involves submitting an application along with required documents (such as proof of residence) and undergoing screening before being granted full rights as a citizen by MOJ once approved by local government offices after further review process takes place there too.

8 Pros and Cons of Being a Citizen of Japan


There are many advantages associated with becoming a citizen of Japan including access to public services such as healthcare and education as well as visa-free travel abroad among others mentioned earlier but there are also some drawbacks associated with it too including having restrictions on dual nationality status which could limit opportunities available overseas if someone wishes pursue them while still maintaining their original nationality.Additionally,there may be additional taxes imposed on non-citizens depending on individual circumstances so it’s important research thoroughly before making any decisions.


Becoming a citizen of Japan requires meeting certain criteria set out by law including age limits,residence requirements,knowledge tests,financial stability,criminal record checks,renouncing any other existing nationalities,paying application fees etc.It also comes with both benefits like visa-free travel abroad & access public services & drawbacks like restrictions on dual nationality status & additional taxes imposed non-citizens so researching thoroughly before making decisions advisable.

What happens if a foreigner gives birth in Japan?

A foreigner who gave birth in Japan cannot acquire Japanese nationality unless she marries a Japanese person. The childs mother can acquire nationality if the foreign mother is registered in the birth register of the Japanese Immigration Bureau.

Do you get citizenship if you are born in Japan?

Japanese citizenship can be acquired in three ways: declaration of birth and naturalization. If the father or mother was a Japanese citizen at birth. If the father dies before the child is born and is a Japanese citizen at the time of death.

Can you be a Japanese citizen if you’re not Japanese?

Foreigners can acquire Japanese citizenship through marriage or naturalization. It is important to understand that Japan recognizes only one citizenship. The Japanese Nationality Act (Law No. 147 of 1950) provides requirements for acquiring and losing Japanese citizenship.

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

People in different ways in America. Anyone can become a citizen – born in the United States to US citizen parents abroad or through the naturalization process. All of these need to meet a certain set of legal requirements.

Does Japan allow dual citizenship with us?

The Nationality Law recognizes only one nationality. In principle Japanese citizenship law recognizes single citizenship and does not recognize dual citizenship. But there are many people who have dual citizenship in Japan.

What happens if you are born in Japan?

A child born in Japan who is otherwise stateless is not entitled to Japanese citizenship. Foreigners can obtain citizenship after living in the country for at least five years and renouncing their previous citizenship.

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