As welcoming as Japan is to foreign visitors, it remains a very conservative country, in many ways suffering the hangover from its ultra-nationalistic past. This means the idea of what it means to be Japanese is as much wrapped up in patriotic mythology as historical fact. The problem with this attitude becomes apparent when considering the question of nationality and citizenship for children of mixed Japanese and foreign couples. You might be wondering: is it even possible for a child of a mixed couple to hold onto both their Japanese and foreign citizenship?

Essentially, no: on paper Japan totally forbids dual citizenship. Old isolationist habits die hard, it seems — especially in a place with such an aging population. However, the reality isn’t so clear-cut, because the country is being forced to resolve the tension between its culturally conservative identity and the economic realities of surviving in a globalized world.

This post is for subscribers only

Sign up now to read the post and get access to the full library of posts for subscribers only.

Sign up now Already have an account? Sign in