Can the Japanese Have Dual Citizenship?

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Dual citizenship, or holding citizenship in more than one country, is becoming an increasingly common practice around the world.

Some countries, like the United States, allow citizens to hold dual citizenship without any restrictions.

Dual citizenship in Japan possible or not
Can the Japanese have dual citizenship?

Other countries have laws that limit or prohibit dual citizenship. Japan is one of these countries.

In This Blog Post – We will explore whether Japanese citizens are allowed to hold dual citizenship and what the consequences are if they do.

We will also discuss some of the other benefits and drawbacks of dual citizenship in Japan.

Can the Japanese Have Dual Citizenship?

According to the Japanese Constitution, Japanese citizens are not allowed to hold dual citizenship. Article 14 (1) of the Japanese Nationality Law states that “Japanese citizens shall have only one nationality.”

The Japanese Nationality Law is based on the idea of a single nationality.

So if you are a Japanese citizen with foreign citizenship and were born before age 18, you must pick a nation by your twentieth birthday (Nationality Law Article 14(1)).

Can't have dual citizenship in Japan
Dual citizenship in Japan rules

This means that, in theory, a Japanese citizen cannot also be a citizen of another country.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

For Example – If a Japanese citizen acquires citizenship in another country through marriage, they are allowed to keep their Japanese citizenship.

In addition, if a child is born to a Japanese parent and a foreign national parent, the child can choose to keep both citizenships.

There are also some circumstances in which Japanese citizens may be able to retain their Japanese citizenship even if they acquire citizenship in another country.

This is typically done through a special application process with the Ministry of Justice.

So, while dual citizenship is technically not allowed under Japanese law, there are some circumstances in which it is possible to hold both Japanese and foreign citizenship.

Why Does Japan Not Allow Dual Citizenship?

Because of the circumstances that result in the loss of Japanese nationality when a Japanese national naturalizes in another country and the need to renounce one’s current citizenship when becoming a citizen of Japan, dual citizenship between Japan and another nation is sometimes prohibited.

There are some exceptions, however, such as when a person has citizenship in two countries by birth or descent.

The primary reason that Japan does not allow dual citizenship is because of the way that Japanese law deals with nationality and citizenship.

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Japanese law differentiates between the two concepts – nationality generally refers to a person’s status as a member of a sovereign state, while citizenship generally refers to the relationship between an individual and a particular state.

Under Japanese Law – Nationality is lost automatically when a Japanese national naturalizes in another country.

This is because Japan uses the principle of jus soli, or citizenship by birthright, which means that one’s citizenship is based on place of birth rather than parentage.

Therefore, when a Japanese citizen is born in another country, they are not considered to be Japanese citizens.

In order to become a citizen of Japan, an individual must renounce their current citizenship.

This means that if an individual has dual citizenship between Japan and another country, they will have to choose one citizenship over the other.

What Are the Consequences of Having Dual Citizenship in Japan?

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There are a few potential consequences of having dual citizenship in Japan.

  • First, if a Japanese citizen acquires citizenship in another country, they may be required to renounce their Japanese citizenship. This is typically done through a formal renunciation process with the Japanese embassy or consulate in the other country.
  • Second, Japanese citizens who hold dual citizenship may be subject to certain restrictions when traveling to and from Japan. For example, they may be required to obtain a special visa in order to enter the country. In addition, they may be ineligible for certain government benefits, such as health insurance and pension payments.
  • Finally, Japanese citizens with dual citizenship may be considered dual nationals. Dual nationals are subject to the laws of both countries and may be required to serve in the military of both countries.

Does Japan Give Citizenship to Foreigners?

After residing in Japan for at least five years, denouncing any previous nationalities, and demonstrating self-sufficiency through their occupation or existing financial assets, foreigners over the age of 18 (or age 20 before April 1, 2022) may acquire Japanese citizenship by naturalization.

Japanese citizenship by naturalization requires passing a Japanese language proficiency test and an examination on Japanese history and culture, as well as an interview.

Notably, Japan does not allow dual nationality for adults, so acquiring Japanese citizenship generally requires giving up one’s previous citizenship.

In special circumstances, such as if an individual is unable to renounce their previous citizenship or if they are under 20 years old, it may be possible to maintain dual nationality.

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Japanese citizenship confers a number of rights and benefits, including the right to live and work in Japan without restriction, the right to vote and stand for public office, and access to social services such as healthcare and education.

Additionally – Japanese citizens enjoy consular protection while traveling abroad.

Japanese nationality law is based on the principle of jus sanguinis, or “right of blood”, meaning that one’s citizenship is determined not by place of birth but by parentage.

Therefore, children born to Japanese citizens, even if born outside of Japan, are generally eligible for Japanese citizenship.


No, the Japanese cannot have dual citizenship.

The Japanese government does not recognize any other citizenship besides Japanese citizenship.

This means that if a person wants to become a Japanese citizen, they must renounce their previous citizenship.

Japanese citizens that have dual citizenship may have their Japanese citizenship revoked.

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