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Japanese-American is first officer to refuse to go to Iraq

nice gaijin

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Because if things get rough and if his life is going to be in danger, seeking exile is the right thing to do? Do you really believe that he would go so far as to make himself a martyr for this cause? Do you really nice gaijin think that if he had a choice of being free in Japan to live his whole life with a fresh start vs. dying but having people believe that the US is corrupt?
You are assuming two things: that your idea of what is "right" is universal, and that a seven year stretch in a military prison is a death sentence.

Do you really believe he has the same courage with an american upbringing?
what difference does that make?
Because nice gaijin, you are telling me that Watada would be willing to become a Kamikaze pilot to get his cause right now. I don't think a third generation Japanese-American would carry that kind of sentiment over 3 genertions being raised in the USA! I actually doubt that even modern Japanese would have enough honour to become a Kamikaze pilot today after McArthianism arrived to Japan.
I'm sorry, but I have NO idea where you pulled this from. I never mentioned anything about kamikaze pilots; in fact, I think that his heritage is probably the least important thing about his story. By the way, MacArthurism is a battle strategy, and McArthyism refers to strong anti-communist sentiments; neither seem to have a place in this discussion.

Nice Gaijin, I have not been to Japan before, but I am a fiance to a westernized Japanese, and I know that he said to me that as a Canadian, he would cover his *** if the **** hits the fan!
Good for him, he is obviously not Lt. Watada.

His parents even told me that Kamikaze and Japanese pride days are long over!
Which is why I'm confused that you would bring such an unrelated point up...

After Watada does his thing, why would it be wrong to seek exile, after he gets his message across? It is normal for anyone to chose life over death.
again, you are equating his court martial to a death sentence. Since the charges brought against him do not include desertion, he doesn't have to face the firing squad. Also, from reading his statements, he seems more concerned with satisfying his own conscience about participating in what he considers an illegal war than getting his message out, or sacrificing himself for "the cause." And I can guarantee you that if being a "martyr" was his plan, running to another country and hiding from military justice would be pretty counter-productive.

I want to tell you that I would not die for England or Canada myself.
That's great that you know that about yourself.

You know Nice gaijin, it may be that my fiance's pespective is coloured by the fact that he is Canadian. (And I am aware that Americans think Canadians are cowards too).
this is a horrible stereotype, and I'll thank you not to say such ridiculous things.

I am amazed that Canada doesn't have a union jack on the corner of its flag especially when Canada never rebelled against the British, and have been "Semper Fi" to the Crown! New Zeland, Australia, still have it, as England is still all Canadian's grandmother.
This seems to be unrelated to any topic at hand, so I'll leave it there.

But even in all this, let's say something got tough politically, and hypothetically, if I had to become American and renounce being English to live a life of safety, I would do so in an instant!
Again, that's YOUR choice to make for yourself

I am sure that you Americans would come crying back to the crown when the **** hits the fan! Americans even being proud of their declaration of independence, still would come crying back to the Commonwealth when some draft comes in, so I would give Watada a break if he choses to do the same except he is chosing Japan. It is the same logic, as many Americans who fled up north during Vietnam War? They cried back to Grandma! Wanted to declare interdependence instead of independence!
So, because some people dodged the draft and fled to foreign countries instead of accepting the consequences for their decision, we should permit the same flight from justice to any officer in a non-compulsory military who refuses their orders? Not only is it unlikely that Japan would grant asylum to an American fugitive, or that he would even be permitted to get to Japan in the first place, but Watada has made it clear that he knew what the consequences were when he made his choice to refuse his orders, and that he's not running anywhere. This might be a difficult concept to grasp, but not everyone is willing to abandon ship when the waters get rough.
 

Sukotto

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i don't mean to sound like a jerk,
but "doing one's duty" doesn't mean "just following orders".
That got the people like the Germans in big trouble.

I wanted to put this word in the above phrase.

but "doing one's duty" doesn't necessarily mean "just following orders".



also i just read a really long speech that Bill Moyers recently
gave at West Point. He does not call for insurrection or disobeying orders, but for military personal to not ignore their citizenship.
I'd hope those that disagree with what Watada did might take a read.
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/1129-21.htm
 

Sukotto

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update

Peace activists & a journalist Subpoena'ed in Watada's case

In a case that could have repercussions for free speech and press freedom in the United States, the U.S. military has subpoenaed two peace activists and a journalist in its case against Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to be court-martialed for refusing to serve in Iraq.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines07/0109-01.htm


But there is something especially chilling about the U.S. military reaching beyond its traditional authority to compel a non-military U.S. citizen engaged in news-gathering to testify in a military court, simply to bolster a court-martial case.


"The UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) has no application to civilians so the military has no hammer with the UCMJ alone," he (Gary Solis, a former military prosecutor who teaches at Georgetown's School of Law) said. "They would have to find a civilian court federal hammer, which would involve getting a second subpoena from a district court."
 

Sukotto

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update

Published on Sunday, February 4, 2007 by the Agence France Presse
Trial of US Soldier Who Refused to Go to Iraq Opens Monday
by Jean-Louis Doublet



First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, the first US army officer to publicly refuse orders to go to Iraq, will go on trial in a court martial Monday at Fort Lewis, Washington, according to his supporters.



----just an update everybody----

hopefully he is not found guilty
and others are given strength to refuse illegal orders
 

KirinMan

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Published on Sunday, February 4, 2007 by the Agence France Presse
Trial of US Soldier Who Refused to Go to Iraq Opens Monday
by Jean-Louis Doublet
First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, the first US army officer to publicly refuse orders to go to Iraq, will go on trial in a court martial Monday at Fort Lewis, Washington, according to his supporters.
----just an update everybody----
hopefully he is not found guilty
and others are given strength to refuse illegal orders

If I was a betting man, since it is a Military Courts Martial, I would say that the odds of him getting off scott free are slim to none. On the other hand I don't foresee him getting put up against a wall and shot either, however much he may or may not deserve that punishment either.

I'll bet it is something more in between like 10 to 25 years at Leavenworth.
 

Sukotto

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I thought I heard in recent days on the radio that the maximum he could get for the charges they are leveling against him is 4 years.


And get this,
I'm pretty sure I heard right, the radio announcer said the judge is not letting him use international law as a defense.
?
Doesn't that strike you as rather strange?
One might think that someone could present whatever defense they wanted to, and if it was a bad defense then it would not successfully defend the person, correct?
How can a judge say you cannot try to use X reason for doing something?
Is it there is no justice in the Amerikan just-us sistym?
 

KirinMan

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I thought I heard in recent days on the radio that the maximum he could get for the charges they are leveling against him is 4 years.


And get this,
I'm pretty sure I heard right, the radio announcer said the judge is not letting him use international law as a defense.
?
Doesn't that strike you as rather strange?
One might think that someone could present whatever defense they wanted to, and if it was a bad defense then it would not successfully defend the person, correct?
How can a judge say you cannot try to use X reason for doing something?
Is it there is no justice in the Amerikan just-us sistym?

Thanks for the update, I got interested a bit more in this case and did a goolge on his name and came up with this from wikipedia,


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehren_Watada


The charges of "contempt toward officials" were dismissed without comment. Without the "contempt for officials" charges, Watada will face up to six years confinement, two for missing movement and four for statements that he made, as well as dismissal if convicted of all remaining charges.[23] The court-martial is to begin on February 5, 2007.[2]

Oh and it isn't the American justice system here that is trying him, it is the military and that is an entirely different thing altogether. Besides the jail time if convicted, and I am assuming this is a general courts martial, the conviction will stick with him for the rest of his life.
 
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I thought I heard in recent days on the radio that the maximum he could get for the charges they are leveling against him is 4 years.


And get this,
I'm pretty sure I heard right, the radio announcer said the judge is not letting him use international law as a defense.
?
Doesn't that strike you as rather strange?
One might think that someone could present whatever defense they wanted to, and if it was a bad defense then it would not successfully defend the person, correct?
How can a judge say you cannot try to use X reason for doing something?
Is it there is no justice in the Amerikan just-us sistym?

There is no justice because WATADA is a Japanese! The USA Army is prejudiced against the Japanese. If Gen. Eric Shinseki was still a 4 star general, maybe Watada who joined the stryker team that Shinseki devised as a fellow Japanese, would have gotten more justice.
 

KirinMan

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There is no justice because WATADA is a Japanese! The USA Army is prejudiced against the Japanese. If Gen. Eric Shinseki was still a 4 star general, maybe Watada who joined the stryker team that Shinseki devised as a fellow Japanese, would have gotten more justice.

Geez then what does it take to be an American in your eye's? The LT is an American of Japanese heritage. I suppose your ancestors came from somewhere else but you still consider yourself to be Canadian right?
If the LT is Japanese then I guess I am Polish, French with a smattering of Italian and not an American, even though I was born in America to something like 5th generation American's.
Duh!

After reading up about more on this case, on the merits of the case itself politics aside, it seems from my opinion that the US Military wants to make an example of the LT. However he was offered according to the article in wikipedia a non combat related desk job in Iraq as well, but refused that assignment too.

I respect the man for sticking up for what he believes in but he had to know ahead of time that the chances of him being sent to Iraq were very high before even joining the service.

If he was "that" against the war in the first place he should have, in my opinion, tendered his resignation previous to being given orders for Iraq. He made the choice to join the service and in joining understood that the chances existed that he may be sent into a war zone.

Actually this reminds me of when the Iraq war started and some GI said that he didn't want to go because he could be hurt. What else do you expect when you join the army, dickhead? Getting hurt, shot at and even killed is a risk with that job, that's one reason I wouldn't join the armed forces.

I love this statement here, and to me is pertinent in this case as well, the LT, supposedly an educated man, because the US military doesn't usually commission officers that do not have their degree, brought some of this down on himself by joining in the first place, particularly in a time of war.

He also bears the burden of not following the orders of a superior officer. He is not a conscientious objector either as he offered to serve in Afganistan.
I also dont see too many others following in his footsteps either, they knew and know what they are or were getting into in the first place and accept the challenges placed before them.

A military will never work anywhere if people can not follow the orders of their legally appointed superiors. Don't give me the argument about Germany or Nuerenburg either as the situation and "time" are so very different that there is no comparison that can be made. It would be similar to comparing apples to oranges.

I dont know if he is guilty or not, I will not "brand" him such as he has already being made out to be a hero in the court of public opinion. Yet that is not going to matter one little bit during the Courts Martial proceedings. He will have his day in court, we'll just have to see how it turns out.

The military however doesn't usually convene a courts martial proceedings unless there is ample evidence to proceed.
 

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Obeika-san - I just wanted to pick out a few points in your last post.

If he was "that" against the war in the first place he should have, in my opinion, tendered his resignation previous to being given orders for Iraq. He made the choice to join the service and in joining understood that the chances existed that he may be sent into a war zone.

I think his whole point is that he has no problem going into a war zone - he did afterall refuse a safe berth offered to him in Iraq - but that it is an illegal war zone based on lies and deception.

Look at his own words about why he changed his mind about Iraq:

"Certainly I joined the military already knowing that we were about to enter a war in which there was some notable opposition," Lt Watada said. "But when the administration comes out and says the threat was imminent and that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction and that he has ties to al-Qaida and therefore he has the means to attack us at any point, I remember telling my father: 'You know, we should give them the benefit of the doubt.'"

Over the next 2 years the truth dawned on him.

"It was so shocking to me. I guess I had heard about WMD and that we made a terrible, terrible mistake," he said. "Mistakes can happen but to think that it was deliberate and that a careful deception was done on the American people - you just had to question who you are as a serviceman, as an American."


I also dont see too many others following in his footsteps either, they knew and know what they are or were getting into in the first place and accept the challenges placed before them.

Well, there are. It just isn't a popular news item.

A number of enlisted men have publicly refused to serve there, citing conscientious objection. Thirteen have sought refugee status in Canada. Thousands more have gone awol. Last year, six senior generals, including some who had served in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, demanded that Donald Rumsfeld, then Pentagon chief, stand down. (Source: The Guardian


Don't give me the argument about Germany or Nuerenburg either as the situation and "time" are so very different that there is no comparison that can be made. It would be similar to comparing apples to oranges.

Why on earth not compare the two? What's so special about the situation and time?
 
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I nominate Lt. Watada a Doctorate of Laws and a noble peace prize, and should be given Honorary Canadian citizenship like the Dalai Lama.

I wonder on a different note, how many Americans would accept if Canada wanted to join the USA? There will be no shots fired, and will be done in the same manner as the European Union. How would you Americans feel about USA being called United States and Provinces of North America?

Oh, to make Quebec accept too, we will offer to become a Republic so they have nothing to wine about. Just as in the USA, being free fully from England, they didn't insist on staying French as USA was an independent nation, and the french accepted that. Likewise, if we remove Britain from Canada completely, we could accomplish the union of these two countries.

I will as a Canadian accept to join the United States of America.
 

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off topic:
jonathancameron --
Last election cycle in the States, in Wisconsin there was someone who ran with one part of their campaign for a "re-united" states. Have the peoples of Mexico, the US, and Canada vote in nationwide referendums on the idea of joining with the other two, since NAFTA did pretty much that economically already. I emailed the guy who I thought it was and will post it here if so.
 
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looks like that answers a lot of questions; interesting that the ones who mention his ethnicity refer to him as Hawaiian, and not Japanese. Also, it seems that he is willing to accept his punishment, which makes seeking asylum a moot point.

If they give David Adwinkle Japanese citizenship, and maybe you too, nice gaijin, why should someone who is of Japanese blood not get theirs?
 

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If they give David Adwinkle Japanese citizenship, and maybe you too, nice gaijin, why should someone who is of Japanese blood not get theirs?

Just out of curiosity here could you tell me how many generations does it take for a person of any heritage stop having the "blood" of their ancestors and take on the "blood" of their country of birth oh and their parents birth as well, not to forget their country of citizenship as well?
 

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A mistrial was declared in Lt Watada's court martial. Prosecutors are re-filing the charges and the new trial should begin in March.

In the US, you will always have the "blood" of your ancestors... and unless you are Native American... you will never have the "blood" of your country of birth and citizenship.
 

Sukotto

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A mistrial was declared in Lt Watada's court martial. Prosecutors are re-filing the charges and the new trial should begin in March.
In the US, you will always have the "blood" of your ancestors... and unless you are Native American... you will never have the "blood" of your country of birth and citizenship.


1st part:
Hmm, isn't that a little like double jepordy? Trying a person 2x for the same crime?


2nd part, TANGENT on "blood"
yeah,
correct me if i am wrong, and it wouldn't be the first time,
the idea of "blood" has to do with non-state nations.
that is, groups of people who have historically been a distinct
ethnic group, with or without a state of their own.
While the modern nation-state, including quite prominantly the US,
is made up of mulitiple ethnicities. This will become more and more in time.
ex. Look at Great Britain. It is stereotypically thought of (from the US anyway) to be all caucasian. (In the US actually most people say the English and use England, Great Britain, and the UK interchangably, even though that is incorrect. Scots, Welsh also British) But there are many people living in G.B. from former colonies of different skin color that are indeed British citizens.

In the US, Native American membership is determined by blood quantum. 1/4 Native and you are legally considered eligible to be enrolled in the tribe or Nation. That is what I have read and what Wisconsin Oneida and Menomonee I've met have told me.



Apparently, since the beginnings of European conquest of the Americas before the 20th century, the First Nations would actually allow non-Native Americans to join their Nations, just as any other. I believe this book is where I read that: The American Empire and the Fourth World I do not know exactly when this ended.

I've read else where (where, memory, where?), but not heard word of mouth that this 1/4 "blood" level was designed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) of the US government back in the day. It was actually a way to try and hurry along extermination so they could count less people and...take more land, set up reservations (concentration camps) with X amount of land per person. People who were actually 1/4 Native, but had European facial features more prominent would often be denied Native status by the BIA.
 

sabro

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You can be 1/16th and still gain membership in a tribe. Here in CA, Native blood is big dollar stuff. Shares in Casino tribes based on Native blood can be worth tens of thousands of dollars per month.

The opposite about Americans is also true I guess. The first generation will have American blood no matter where their ancestors hail from.
 
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Just out of curiosity here could you tell me how many generations does it take for a person of any heritage stop having the "blood" of their ancestors and take on the "blood" of their country of birth oh and their parents birth as well, not to forget their country of citizenship as well?
Obeika, countries which declare Lex Sanguilis define themselves with blood. Countries that define themselves with birth are those with Lex Soili. Japan is Lex Sanguinis. ナ椎停?慊敘ステ・窶ケ`窶廬ツ vsツ ツ青カ窶冢ナステ・窶ケ`窶廬ツ。ツ I do want to point out, why does no one point out how this Lieutenant is actually as much Chinese as Japanese? We do know that Bob Watada is in fact, a dual national.
Also, when someone stops being fully Japanese is by intermarriage. Japanese is by blood. And if you are fully Asian, you will be your ancestry. However, I being white, do not have to be Scottish, and just be Canadian, or American, if I wanted to. With Caucasian, if you register yourself, and hold the passport, then, you are also the other nationality. But Asians, are always asians, wherever they go.
 

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Obeika, countries which declare Lex Sanguilis define themselves with blood. Countries that define themselves with birth are those with Lex Soili. Japan is Lex Sanguinis. ナ椎停?慊敘ステ・窶ケ`窶廬ツ vsツ ツ青カ窶冢ナステ・窶ケ`窶廬ツ。ツ I do want to point out, why does no one point out how this Lieutenant is actually as much Chinese as Japanese? We do know that Bob Watada is in fact, a dual national.
Also, when someone stops being fully Japanese is by intermarriage. Japanese is by blood. And if you are fully Asian, you will be your ancestry. However, I being white, do not have to be Scottish, and just be Canadian, or American, if I wanted to. With Caucasian, if you register yourself, and hold the passport, then, you are also the other nationality. But Asians, are always asians, wherever they go.

You missed the point of the question from my previous post.

He is AMERICAN, 1st and ONLY. He is NOT Japanese.

He may have Japanese ancestory but the LT is AMERICAN, quit attempting to take this down racial lines, it doesn't matter what the guys heritage is, what matters is that he is standing up for what he believes in.

Oh and by the way Japan doesn't recognize dual citizenships, which shouldn't matter anyway because the LT isn't Japanese.
 
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You missed the point of the question from my previous post.
He is AMERICAN, 1st and ONLY. He is NOT Japanese.
He may have Japanese ancestory but the LT is AMERICAN, quit attempting to take this down racial lines, it doesn't matter what the guys heritage is, what matters is that he is standing up for what he believes in.
Oh and by the way Japan doesn't recognize dual citizenships, which shouldn't matter anyway because the LT isn't Japanese.

Obeika, dont be so naive! All he has to do is ask and it will be given. He can just go with a nikkeijin visa, wash dishes, and in 3 years, wala! He is given Japanesense nationality. Now, this is impossible for us, as you may know. And Watada if you don't know, is fluent in Japanese! (Much more so than me)
 

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Obeika, dont be so naive! All he has to do is ask and it will be given. He can just go with a nikkeijin visa, wash dishes, and in 3 years, wala! He is given Japanesense nationality. Now, this is impossible for us, as you may know. And Watada if you don't know, is fluent in Japanese! (Much more so than me)

I should have known better. jonathan fyi, I'm done "discussing" any thing here with you.

Trying to start an argument on an internet message board of all places is really childish. Bye
 

sabro

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Like Lt. Watada, I am American with Japanese roots. (Hapa hakujin similarly also) Is there any truth to the assertion that anyone with Japanese blood could apply for Japanese citizenship? And since neither country recognizes dual citizenships, wouldn't you have to renounce one before accepting the other?
 
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I should have known better. jonathan fyi, I'm done "discussing" any thing here with you.
Trying to start an argument on an internet message board of all places is really childish. Bye

Hey buddy, I worked my pants off learning Japanese as a caucasian. Now, you guys owe me some respect.
 
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Like Lt. Watada, I am American with Japanese roots. (Hapa hakujin similarly also) Is there any truth to the assertion that anyone with Japanese blood could apply for Japanese citizenship? And since neither country recognizes dual citizenships, wouldn't you have to renounce one before accepting the other?
In theory you have to renounce, but in reality, many hold dual citizenship. If you renew your passport in Japan, you get asked less questions with your koseki in Japan, and return as Ichijikikoku. You use your grandma's jyuminhyou. The only thing is, you got to pay taxes.
I know one Japanese Candian dual national who also has US permant residency card (green card). What he does is goes down to Sea Tac airport from Vancouver, then goes to Japan. If the immigration officer asks how he overstayed beyond 90 days without a visa, seeing the exit stamp on his Japanese passport, he whips out his greencard. They see that he is only a US greencard holder but not a US citizen, and thus, without enquiring about his Canadian, lets him through. He did mention that they scrupolously ask how you would overstay your visa in the US, being like 3 years, he just shows his green card, and they say okay.
So for you, you get a permant residency in Canada, tell them that you are not a citizen of Canada, and that you want your Japanese passport. For Isseis they do not ask further, as that permant residency card is sufficent evidence.
Clutching onto your Japanese passport is possible, although difficult. He did this with a consultation of a lawyer. You can get it, but you better be willing to do some extra flying or extra driving. For Glen, he had to drive to SEA tac rather than use vancouver international airport, which is a greyhound bus ride, costing more money. He even went for his greencard lived in Washington just to keep his Japanese nationality, and went through all this trouble.
You can do this, but it is a big headache, and you gotta be pretty desperate to keep it all. It is so amazing how the Japanese care so much about their national identity. No wonder they fight so strongly and really embrace Nihonjinron like the chinese did with their red book.
 

KirinMan

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Like Lt. Watada, I am American with Japanese roots. (Hapa hakujin similarly also) Is there any truth to the assertion that anyone with Japanese blood could apply for Japanese citizenship? And since neither country recognizes dual citizenships, wouldn't you have to renounce one before accepting the other?
Sabro the US recognizes dual citizenships, Japan does not (officially) for a number of reasons. Japan has a rather large foreign community that lives pretty much in limbo here, people born and raised here in Japan, but do not have citizenship. Once that gets sorted out it wouldn't surprise me to see Japan allow dual citizenships.

It really isn't a matter of renouncing one's citizenship or not. Japan doesn't request an official renouncement of citizenship like the US does and many people still carry two passports.
 
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