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Hafu and dual nationality

Have you kept both passports past 22? Are two passports important for mixed race identity?

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SooMihawa

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Hi! I am Half English and Half Japanese and approaching the age when I have to decide which passport to keep. I think that having two passports is an important part of my identity so having to choose is going to be very difficult for me. I have grown up in England but have spent a lot of time going backwards and forwards to Japan, visiting family and going to summer camp/the local school for a couple of weeks each year.

So, I have a few questions:
1. How people have decided which passport to keep/what factors are important to you to consider when making this choice?
2. As it is a Japanese law, are there any sanctions or anything if you lie in order to keep both passports?
3. Do people also feel that having two passports as a "hafu" is important to yourself and your identity?
4. What factors are important to you to consider when making this choice?
 

SooMihawa

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It isn't about "passports"; it is about citizenship.
I think it is about both citizenship and "passports" but the issue of "passports" is not discussed enough. Whilst citizenship is of course very important and is about having the right to live, work and participate in politics in a country, the passport is what enables this to happen. Without the official documentation, you cannot get to either country and have no form of official identity. Therefore whilst it is just a little book, without either my Japanese or British passport, I would not have the same flexibility. Of course I can feel mixed race without holding two passports, but the lack of official recognition or ability that I have had up until now to experience both cultures, it would feel somewhat claustrophobic.
 

mdchachi

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There are many citizens of both countries who don't have passports at all.
So your assertion regarding the role of the passport is wholly inaccurate.

I guess the worst that could happen is that you could have your citizenship taken and be banned from entering Japan. However according to this article "No dual national has ever been stripped of their Japanese citizenship for not renouncing another status before the age of 22."
As a result, there are many people in your situation who choose the "don't ask don't tell" path.
Japan's dual citizens get a tacit nod but keep their status in the shadows | The Japan Times
 
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"No dual national has ever been stripped of their Japanese citizenship for not renouncing another status before the age of 22."
As a result, there are many people in your situation who choose the "don't ask don't tell" path.
Japan's dual citizens get a tacit nod but keep their status in the shadows | The Japan Times
Tough group here...

In addition to the above article, FYI we have two kids now in their mid/upper 20s and they still have dual status--here and the US. The passport office was completely unconcerned about this issue. And I don't think anyone is ever pressured on making the choice.

Advice: Try to renew your J-passport before you are 22--then this will not be an issue. Easy, yeah? And then that passport will be good for 10 years, during which time nobody will blink an eye, nor ask you to make a decision. Even if you are 22 or above, you can simply say that you have not decided yet, that you're planning to work/study in UK for a year or more, and that you'd like to wait to see if that becomes permanent before you decide. State how you have been back and forth a lot, and that it is an important, difficult decision, and that you'd like more time. (If you need an excuse for early renewal, run it thru the washing machine a couple times, or spill some paint/sumi/bokuju on it and tell them you were practicing calligraphy.)

"Don't ask, don't tell." Well, there is a check box on the J-passport renewal application that specifically asks if you have another passport/citizenship. I would advise being honest. If you fail to check the box, IMO you have then lied on your application--not a wise thing to do. As you probably know, honesty is valued here, and I think that dishonesty discovered could produce a worse outcome.

Even if you only get one added 10-year period, you'll be about 32 then, and probably more comfortable making a choice.
 
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I question the above advice. I have two hafu kids, and they are not allowed dual passports, US and Japan. They are not allowed dual citizenship, or two passports, after adulthood.

When my wife became a US citizen, she had to give up her Japanese citizenship and passport. Both Japan and US forbid dual citizenship with each other. JohnnyG, you may have been a victim of some incompetent in the "passport office."
 
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Both Japan and US forbid dual citizenship with each other.
This was the case many years ago, but the US no longer forbids dual nationality.

" U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one nationality or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another nationality does not risk losing U.S. nationality."
Dual Nationality
 

Mike Cash

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The passport office was completely unconcerned about this issue.
I would suspect they were unconcerned because it isn't their responsibility. Ask at the nearest branch office of the Ministry of Justice and see what they have to say about it.
 

mdchachi

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This web site seems to think it's not a good idea.
Japanese Dual Citizenship

Unlike many countries who tolerate (but don’t officially endorse) dual citizenship, Japan chooses to actively crack down on the dual citizenship. Thus, when a Japanese national holding a foreign nationality turns 20, they will be required to choose one sole citizenship (Japanese or foreign) within 2 years (ie, before the age of 22).
...
Despite these relatively clear guidelines, stories abound of people trying to skirt the restrictions on dual nationality by “hiding” their second citizenship from Japan. Obviously this is not recommended and you should consult an immigration attorney or public Internet forums as to the repercussions.
 
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...
When my wife became a US citizen, she had to give up her Japanese citizenship and passport. Both Japan and US forbid dual citizenship with each other. JohnnyG, you may have been a victim of some incompetent in the "passport office."
Maybe so, but I have never heard of anyone in our kids' situation being asked/forced to decide (being born into it). A wink and a nod, and "maybe we'll deal with it next time." Note the difference to an adult who freely decides to naturalize elsewhere.

If it occurred at all, groups like bsig would be all over it. Yes, I know there's the law, but to my knowledge it just hasn't happened.
 
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They were born into it.

I'm not an expert, but it seems people in that situation are generally given a pass on having to make the choice. If they were, that bilingual SIG site would be full of reports on it--when, which nationality was chosen, POV accounts on whether they'd made the right choice, why, etc.
 
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