Last Updated: Friday, 25 July 2014, 12:52 GMT

Japan/Colombia: Whether a person can hold dual nationality or citizenship (Japanese and Colombian)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 27 January 2003
Citation / Document Symbol ZZZ40060.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Japan/Colombia: Whether a person can hold dual nationality or citizenship (Japanese and Colombian), 27 January 2003, ZZZ40060.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3f7d4e443.html [accessed 26 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

For information on dual nationality in Colombia, please refer to ZZZ40033.E of 19 November 2002, which indicates that Colombia has allowed dual nationality since 1991.

1999. Further to JPN32697.E, please find attached three documents: two news articles related to naturalization or recognition of Japanese citizenship, and a document from the Ministry of Justice of Japan titled "The Choice of Nationality". The latter includes this statement:

A Japanese national having a foreign nationality (a person of dual nationality) shall choose either of the nationalities before he or she reaches twenty two years of age (or within two years after the day when he or she acquired the second nationality if he or she acquired such nationality after the day when he or she reached twenty years of age). If he or she fails to choose either of the nationalities, he or she may lose Japanese nationality. So, please don't forget the choice of nationality (Japan 10 Jan. 2001).

The source notes a distinction of cases, namely:

1) A Japanese national who has become of dual nationality on or after January 1, 1985 (i.e. on or after the day when the Nationality Law, as amended by Law No. 45 of 1984, became effective). ...

A Japanese national who has become of dual nationality before January 1, 1985 (i.e. before the day when the Nationality Law, as amended by Law No. 45 of 1984, became effective) (ibid.).

Aside from the official published information available, The Japan Times reported in 2000 on Japan's formal recognition of exiled Peruvian president Fujimori's Japanese citizenship, stating that:

Under the 1985 revised nationality law, the government does not allow dual citizenship and requires adults over 20 years of age and with multiple passports to choose a nationality.

However, the law does not apply to those who had possessed dual citizenship before 1985 (13 Dec. 2000).

In another article (attached to this Response), The Japan Times reports that

The Nationality Law, which came into effect in 1950, stipulates six requirements for applicants [who wish to become naturalized citizens].

Applicants must have lived in Japan for five consecutive years before filing, be aged 20 or over and be considered responsible under Japanese laws, be able to financially support themselves as well as their family, be without nationality or ready to lose their original nationality upon obtaining Japanese citizenship, have no involvement in subversive activities and have a record of good behavior.

Currently, the ministry's review of an application for naturalization usually takes about 11 months for "special permanent residents" and 12 months for other foreigners after they submit a large number of required documents (20 Apr. 2001).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References

Japan. 10 January 2001. Ministry of Justice. "The Choice of Nationality." [Accessed 24 Jan. 2003]

The Japan Times [Tokyo]. 20 April 2001. Hiroshi Matsubara. "Foreigners Face Long Slog to Japanese Citizenship." [Accessed 24 Jan. 2003]

_____. 13 December 2000. "Fujimori a Japanese, Can Stay: Kono." [Accessed 24 Jan. 2003]

Attachments

Japan. 10 January 2001. Ministry of Justice. "The Choice of Nationality." [Accessed 24 Jan. 2003]

The Japan Times [Tokyo]. 24 November 2002. "Girl Born Out of Wedlock is Denied Japan Citizenship." [Accessed 24 Jan. 2003]

_____. 20 April 2001. Hiroshi Matsubara. "Foreigners Face Long Slog to Japanese Citizenship." [Accessed 24 Jan. 2003]

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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