Petition to Allow Multiple Citizenships

Petition to Allow Multiple Citizenships

Document No. 2013 – 1
Petitioner: Fukukokuseki (Multiple Citizenships) PT

Petition items:

Prompt Repeal of the Requirement that Japanese Citizens Holding Multiple Nationalities Make a Nationality Selection to Renounce either their Japanese Nationality or their Foreign Citizenship(s), which Has Been Ineffective.

Reciprocal Approval of Multiple Citizenships for Japanese Nationals with Other Nations that Allow Multiple Citizenships.
Example:  Nations in Oceania, America, and Europe.

Our View of this Petition:

Doubtless, allowing multiple citizenships would promote various opportunities for Japanese citizens around the world.  It would greatly benefit Japanese people living abroad as well as their families.  Now that Japanese communities are spread over the world, allowing multiple citizenships would benefit them, which would also be of great benefit to Japan.  In particular, this revision of the law would contribute to securing international human capital and information resources as well as economic and financial assets.

At present, the Japanese nationality law of 1950 is among the most intolerant of multiple citizenships compared with the laws of other developed countries.  On the other hand, an increasing number of Japanese citizens study and work around the world. Reforming this intolerant system to make it more lenient would be consistent with the world trend, because other developed countries also allow multiple citizenships.  Finally, it would significantly promote Japanese interests and contribute to Japan as a whole.  Moreover, allowing multiple citizenships with other reliable developed nations would help internationalization but would not cause social problems.

There are some criticisms about allowing multiple citizenships, such as concerns about conflict of loyalty or conflict with the right of diplomatic protection.  On the other hand, more countries have shifted from sole citizenship systems to multiple citizenships systems, as evidenced by the Republic of Korea among other Asian countries.  It is now becoming a world trend.  It can be said that there is no other country as intolerant as Japan among developed nations.  A seclusion policy could harm the Japanese economy, which has already been in recession.  Moreover, the disadvantages of allowing multiple citizenships pointed out by the Ministry of Justice have never arisen as social issues among countries that allow such a system.  For example, problems have never been observed in the Republic of Korea.

It is estimated that at least 600,000 Japanese people hold multiple citizenships.  This clearly shows that the intolerant current system has become an obsolete framework.  The trend for more Japanese to go overseas has inexorably increased this number and will continue in future.  However, we have never observed related social issues.  It is time to revise the intolerant system.  The Japan Federation of Bar Associations has also recommended that it be changed to a more tolerant system of allowing multiple citizenships.

Therefore, we request the following two amendments to the current law.

1.        Prompt Repeal of the Nationality Selection System, which has been ineffective.

Children who are born to a Japanese parent and a parent with foreign nationality or those who are born to Japanese parents in Jus Soli states such as the United States of America should have dual citizenship. This would allow Japanese citizenship plus that of the other parent in the former case or the nation where the child is born in the latter case. The Japanese Nationality Law requires any person who holds multiple citizenships to make a "declaration of choice" by the age of twenty-two, whereby they choose to renounce either their Japanese nationality or their foreign citizenship(s).  However, this could be regarded as requiring children to choose one of their parents and we find this quite an unreasonable demand.  As evidence for our position, we note the Japan Federation of Bar Associations has pointed out that this requirement could violate the human rights of those children.  Moreover, it is estimated that 30,000 to 40,000 Japanese people a year are born holding other citizenships, whereas only 10% of those Japanese people have made a nationality selection.  This shows that this system itself has become ineffective.

2.        Reciprocal Approval for Japanese Citizens to Hold Citizenships of Other Nations that Allow Multiple Citizenships for their Citizens

Japan should allow citizens to hold multiple citizenships with countries that have normalized relationships with Japan and allow multiple citizenships for their citizens, such as France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, and Oceania countries such as Australia and so on.


複国籍PT代表 高川憲之


1. 形骸化した国籍選択制度の早急な廃止
2. 複国籍を容認している一方の国との相互主義的な複数国籍の容認








複国籍PT (旧名IST請願の会)リンク


複国籍PT 代表 高川 憲之





第183回国会 請願の要旨

新件番号    1795    件名    複国籍の容認に関する請願

要旨     国際化によって、海外で生活をする日本人、日本で生活する外国人、出生によって複数国籍を持つ子供たちは増加しているが、日本が成人の複数国籍を原則的に認めないことから様々な問題に直面している。この問題解決のためには複数国籍を容認する国籍法の改正が必要である。政府が列挙する複数国籍のデメリットは国の側に想定されるものである。しかも複数国籍の容認国でこれらが実際に問題になったことはない。一方で個人にとって複数国籍の容認は大きなメリットとなり、ひいては日本人社会のメリットとなる。「複国籍を受け入れる社会的雰囲気はもう十分に整っており、日本は国際社会の中で成熟した社会になりつつある」ということが、国会質疑にて明らかにされている。また「複国籍を積極的に認めた方が、日本人が世界で活躍しやすい」という意見も国会議員から出ている。国籍選択制度によって実際に国籍選択をした人は対象者全体の一割しかいない。また、自己の意思で外国籍を取得した日本人の九割が、国籍喪失の手続がなされないため、実質的に日本国籍を維持していると法務省は推測しており、国籍唯一の原則である現行国籍法は形骸化している。法が形骸化しているにもかかわらず、それを原因とする社会不安などは起きていない。複数国籍を容認する方向で、国籍法の形骸化を正すべきである。日本弁護士連合会も複数国籍の容認を求める意見書を公表している。