A Gaijin’s Perspective: Should Japan allow multiple citizenship?
Credits to yousuke_ito via Statigr.am for this one!
Sooooo yeah! Imma back, guys! Well, sorry for not posting things here in my main blog since I have err… a little or no more motivation to post things, but yeah… can’t be helped!
But as promised, I’m back! However, without Photoshop CS6 Extended in my lappie (aww… just Lightroom, that’s it) and without anything that will motivate me to improve my photography skills (how I miss photography, but I realized that it’s more convenient to have a smaller DSLR than a medium-sized one).
But no worries guys, I have learned the hard way: We don’t need Photoshop if we could capture great photos, right? After all, being Photoshop-dependent sucks real dick, amaright!?
Well here, this is serious business. Today (or tonight in my country, haha!), I am gonna discuss the benefits and downsides of dual (or multiple) citizenship and why should the Japanese government accept Kono Taro-sama’s proposal–with modifications, of course.
What is multiple citizenship?
Multiple citizenship… in general, is a situation wherein an individual holds more than one citizenship–meaning to say that he/she’s protected by more than one country’s laws (correct me for me grammer… lol). Each independent entity has its own laws regarding multiple citizenship.
A person could acquire at least two citizenships: One citizenship is something which a person is born with and another citizenship is something that a person acquired through naturalization. Most people are born with single citizenship, but nowadays, more and more children are born with more than one citizenship.
Single citizens – Usually, these people were born in their home country (parents’ domicile/hometown) or in a foreign country (countries which follow the jus sanguinis principle). If a person is born in the Philippines with Filipino parents, of course these parents should be Filipino citizens who do not hold another citizenship.
Example: A person born in the Philippines to Filipino parents, or a person born somewhere in the Middle East to Filipino parents (take note that most Middle Eastern countries, esp. the monarch-runned ones, do not allow naturalization AT ALL). I really didn’t expect that one of my acquaintances was born in Saudi Arabia.
Notable people: Venus Raj (born in Qatar), Jessy Mendiola (born in the United Arab Emirates/UAE), Korina Sanchez (born in Hong Kong), Isla Fischer (Australian actress, born in Oman), Liv Ullmann (Norwegian actress, born in Japan)
Multiple citizens – Usually, these people were born with more than one citizenship. Most of these people were either born with Filipino parents in a jus soli country (Canada and the United States), or is usually mixed-raced. Most people who are under this category have parents who do not have the same citizenship.
Example: A Filipino person born to Filipino parents in the United States of America, or a half-Filipino, half-British person born in the Philippines or in Britain but holds British and Filipino citizenship at the same time.
Notable people: Joyce Jimenez (born in the United States to Filipino parents), G Toengi (father is Swiss-American, and sources say that she was born in US soil), Kaye Abad (born in the United States to Filipino parents), Natalie Portman (mother is American while father is an Israeli), Nicole Kidman (born in Hawaii to Australian parents), Roger Federer (born in Switzerland which is his domicile, but also has South African citizenship through his mother), Heidi Klum (German model, naturalized as an American citizen for her children), Kirsten Dunst (American actress, naturalized as German through her father), Charlize Theron (South African actress, naturalized as American in 2007 due to visa restrictions on a South African passport), Rachel Weisz (British actress, naturalized as American)… to be honest, there are a LOT, actually!
Notable people who hold more than two citizenships: Flynn Bloom (born in the United States to Orlando Bloom who is British and Miranda Kerr who is Australian), Christianne Amanpour (has a British mother and an Iranian father but naturalized as an American through marriage), G Toengi (American, Filipino and Swiss)
Actually, these are some examples I can give you so far. YEAH, most of these people are celebrities because one of my professors in college said that holding more than one citizenship is actually very expensive (he said that holding more than one citizenship is for the rich)–since you have to pay taxes in both countries. No wonder, I will show you both the benefits and the downsides of being a multiple citizen.
Benefits of being a multiple citizen
Credits to @gtongi via Statigr.am
1.) Visa-free access to other countries without a visa – Usually, if you’re Filipino and you hold citizenship in first-world countries (USA, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Germany, Israel, Finland, Sweden), you could actually travel in as much many countries as you like, but not all countries could be accessed without a prior-to-arrival visa. As a matter of fact, the only advantage of Filipino citizens over Japanese citizens is that, Filipinos could travel to Brazil without a visa, while Japanese citizens need to acquire a visa prior to their Brazilian trip. Here, this shows that holding more than one citizenship would bring you more benefits like visa-free access to popular destinations such as Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Schengen Area… and the Anglophone world.
Example: Filipino + USA/Canada/Japan/Australia/UK citizenship = A-OK; Filipino + not first-world citizenship = depends.
2.) Regionalism – Filipino citizens have the freedom to visit the rest of Southeast Asia without a visa (of course, the Philippines finally has visa-free access to Myanmar… recently) while former Soviet blocs could access their fellow former Soviet comrade countries without any visa, but it still depends upon the situation. Canadian citizens could enter the United States without a visa waiver at all, and New Zealanders could visit Australia without a visa waiver. Don’t you know that it’s only the USA and Australia that have a visa waiver policy? Canada, the United Kingdom and the rest of the Anglophone countries do not have the same policy as Oz and the US of A, but somehow they allow these countries to visit their territory without any visa at all.
For instance, if you hold Filipino and American/British/Australian/Canadian citizenship, you could access Southeast Asia without a visa with your Philippine passport, while you could enter the Schengen area with your other passport.
3.) You could buy real estate/land property in some countries – The Philippines is the best example of a country that does not allow foreigners to buy land property in Philippine soil–no wonder, there are condominium units that are actually more expensive than a townhouse. Somehow, if you naturalize yourself as an American citizen and have plans to re-acquire Filipino citizenship, that is because you want to have your own land property in the Philippines… and retire there.
4.) You’re protected by the law–two constitutions/basic laws, that is – I ain’t sure about this one, but you could file for divorce if you’re a citizen of another country since the Philippines is the only country that does not recognize divorce as means of legally separating a couple (actually, I am into divorce–but it should have a minimum price of 1 million pesos, so that people will think twice before proceeding).
5.) You could work as an expat or immigrant worker (without restrictions, maybe) – Expatriates (formal for expats) usually refer to people with a white-collar job in another country while immigrant workers refer to people who work in a foreign country–but in a blue-collar job. Well, you’re considered an immigrant worker if you work as a factory worker or as a caregiver/domestic helper, while if you’re in another country yet you’re a businessman or company employee, you are considered an expatriate. Well, our acquaintances who have connection to Canada generally had blue-collar jobs, but they returned to the Philippines because yeah, Canada’s quite a laid-back country. And too quiet to get started with.
Now you know what the difference between an immigrant worker and an expat is: Expat refers to a white-collar job worker, while an immigrant worker usually refers to a person doing manual labor/factory work, or in other words, a blue-collar job.
Downsides of multiple citizenship
1.) TAXES – The burden of paying taxes. No wonder only the well-off people could afford holding more than one citizenship. Well, you really have to work hard if you want to acquire another citizenship.
2.) Conflict with another country – If you happen to be an Israeli citizen, you are not spared when it comes to the Arab League’s visa policies. Even ordinary passport holders are actually not allowed to enter oil-rich countries unless they have a special permit coming from the Israeli government. Worse, some of these Arab countries reject not only Israeli passports, but also non-Israeli passports with an Israel stamp on it (yes, the Arab League is really hostile towards Israel as their stance of support towards Palestine, and Israel happens to be an ally of the United States, no wonder). While Hong Kong recently imposed sanctions towards Filipino citizens who hold an official or a diplomatic passport, it’s a good thing that they spared ordinary passport holders as a sign that the Hong Kong government gives sanctions to Filipino government officials and representatives, but not ordinary citizens of the Philippines.
Side Note: Israeli citizens could enter the Arab League with “special permission” from the government.
Taiwanese citizens, on the other hand, could not access Brazil without a “special visa” since both countries do not maintain diplomatic relations with each other.
blog.viki.com|Rain being as “Jeong Ji Hoon” for being drafted into the South Korean army.
3.) Conscription – This is another problem if you’re a multiple citizen. In the Philippines, one is required to choose between ROTC (military training) and CWTS (community service). Usually, dual citizens will choose CWTS because ROTC is mainly about conscription. Military service usually requires people who have just one citizenship… dunno with multiple citizens. This is probably the reason why South Korea didn’t allow multiple citizenship before 2011 (multiple citizenship is allowed now, but pars with the multiple citizenship policies of the Netherlands and Norway). In other words, it’s still QUOTA.
South Koreans actually have this problem. Prior to 2011, usually, most South Korean mothers give birth to the United States because they don’t want their sons to join the military service, which is mandatory. However, there are still South Korean men who are still WILLING to be conscripted.
hasekamp.net|King Rama IX playing the saxophone. Take note that he was born in the United States of America.
4.) Citizenship issues among monarchs – Well, if you happen to be a monarch (male), you have to beg for the government to have a certain agreement that this place has to be a temporary exclave of your country just for your spouse to give birth to your child just in case you’re in exile. No wonder, Thailand does not allow multiple citizenship at all since their King was born in the United States of America (which is jus soli).
5.) NSTP (National Service Training Program) – If you’re a Filipino citizen, you have to undergo this process. It may seem to be “AWW” to you, but to those who don’t like ROTC, CWTS is always there. Yes, Filipino citizens who hold another citizenship have a hesitation of choosing between ROTC and CWTS, but if you were to ask me, CWTS is a safer choice–you explore ALL the walks of life, and it’s better than undergoing religious community service (if you’re Lasallian and you took up TREDTWO).
Multiple citizenship in Japan
Now here’s err… something I would like to share with you guys. Basically, Japan does not allow multiple citizenship (or at least, dual) because one government official said that it might cause conflict to a person, and the government wants its citizens to follow the “stick-to-one” rule, when it comes to citizenship.
Well, it is actually a burden if you happen to be a Japanese citizen and yet you hold another citizenship. For me, not allowing your citizens to obtain two passports just because it might cause conflict doesn’t always mean they’ll always be a magnet of any chaotic dilemmas regarding citizenship. Hapas in Japan have this dilemma of just choosing one citizenship since they have no choice but to have two citizenships. I don’t think hapa celebrities like Becky Rabone and Christel Takigawa were willing to choose just one citizenship, but because of the nationality law of Japan, they still have to choose one. Becky decided to drop her British citizenship since obviously, she’s more Japanese than British. I’m not sure if Christel chose Japanese over French. But I’m sure, there are lots of hapa celebrities who do not want to renounce their other citizenship. So far, I have heard that Yuu Shirota decided to keep his Spanish citizenship, though he was born in Tokyo, but I ain’t sure if he chose Spanish.
Speaking of the multiple citizenship proposal by LDP dude (not sure if he’s still the leader) Kono Taro-sama, it was rather been rejected because the process of making his bill into a law doesn’t seem to be very clear–however, speaking of Kono-sama’s policies, it seems that he’s like the Japanese BongBong Marcos since his policies are awesome–but to tell you the truth, he lacks charisma. But still, he’s still my favorite Japanese politician (LOL), just like how I admire Condoleeza Rice and Kanzlerin Angela Merkel. Can I just add that he favors Japan to have its own military.
blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime|Kare wa Kono Taro-sama desu. The Asian look-alike of Stephen Hawking but his ideas are similar with Senator BongBong Marcos.
Here’s Kono-sama’s proposal.
Hmmm… I guess something’s missing. He should have also considered the “permission required” policy which is actually a thing of German-speaking countries (hence, the word Beibehaltungsgenehmigung [Beibe-haltungs-gemehnigung], which means retention approval. Yes, I admit it’s too freaking long, but what do you expect on German compound words, lol). Actually, die Beibehaltungsgenehmigung is actually beneficial since this will ease down Japan’s citizenship laws. I repeat, having this implemented towards Japanese citizens who hold more than one citizenship could apply whether they’re willing to retain both citizenships or not. This is also a big help to foreigners who are willing to naturalize as Japanese citizens but still want to retain their original citizenship.
Yes, actually Kono-sama should have thought of the Japanese version of die Beibehaltungsgenehmigung (リテンション承認, Ritenshon shounin) so that it would be fair for everyone who holds Japanese citizenship to have another citizenship.
A Gaijin’s Perspective: Should Japan allow multiple citizenship?
Well, coming from a gaijin myself (speaking of Japanese society), my answer goes to a big YES. For one, if you hold a Japanese passport (Nihonkoku Ryoken), you have the freedom to travel towards the Schengen Area and the rest of the European union without a visa, and not only that, you could travel in China without a visa.
Side Note: To those chauvinists who think I don’t have the right to an opinion with regards to a foreign country’s citizenship laws, then it cannot be helped. But still, what about those foreigners who want to have another citizenship? Well, I believe that patriotism is not based on a person’s nationality within itself, but it’s also on how they love their country unconditionally.
The similarities between a Filipino and a Japanese passport is that, you could enter Morocco without a visa (oh yes, OT BTW, my Emirati friends and Israeli buddies could meet there haha). Being Filipino myself, I am willing to have Japanese citizenship IF and ONLY IF Japan will allow dual citizenship, provided that they impose the Beibehaltungsgemehnigung in all aspects.
Yes, I think having more than one citizenship has more advantages than disadvantages, if you’re not into having yourself drafted to military service. Well, Singapore still does not allow dual citizenship, while South Korea allowed it but with certain conditions (aww… it’s also great to hold Korean citizenship, actually)–prolly because of the military service thing (which is actually good, I tell you).
Also, if you happen to be a dual citizen, if you don’t like ROTC (hahaha, ang bad ko talaga), you choose CWTS freely, but those who are dual citizens but WANTS ROTC are sad because of the policies. Oh my.
However, I’m telling you: Having more than one citizenship isn’t that bad. No wonder, the reason why I prefer having a Japanese citizenship as my other citizenship because I consider Japan as my second home. Also, I won’t mind being married to a Japanese guy, it’s just that he has to be the liberated type of guy (not really the Westernized type, but the one who is at least, open-minded). Also, I won’t mind speaking up for foreigners who are willing to naturalize as Japanese citizens, especially those who come from third-world countries (mostly from Africa and Asia), but are still willing to retain the citizenship they’re born with.
Also, don’t you know that there are a lot of Filipino-Japanese people who like to keep both citizenships? Well, I may not have done a survey just yet, but to be honest, being Filipino-Japanese is a privilege. Most of them consider themselves more Filipino than Japanese, but they wouldn’t want to give up their Japanese citizenship since their Japanese passports could let them go places. But, if some of them accept the fact that Japan does not allow dual citizenship, they’ll choose Japanese for travel purposes OR, if they live in Japan already. But some of them still chose Filipino because they think they’re at home when they choose Filipino citizenship even though Filipino passports don’t share the same privilege as Japanese passports. This applies if they settle permanently in the Philippines.
I’m not sure if Filipino-Koreans have the same issue as well since the Republic of Korea (my other favorite country even though I’m not a fan of K-Pop) recently allowed multiple citizenship with certain conditions. However, as far as I know, before 2011, half-Koreans should choose just one citizenship at the age of 18 years old (without the age reckoning system, I guess).
Well, since Japan’s already losing manpower (majority are yes, old people, the ojiisans and the obaasans), I guess it’s time for them to allow dual citizenship and ease their immigration laws since there are a lot of foreigners who are willing to naturalize as Japanese citizens, or to work there and learn the language and culture. I guess Japan should realize that citizenship is not simply about one race, but it should be conforming to their society–and speaking Nihongo, of course.
Of course, Japan’s nationality law dictates that Japanese people should “stick to one” when it comes to obtaining another citizenship, or to naturalize as Japanese, since Japanese society has been maintaining the value of being loyal to a single nation, which I do respect. However, I believe that having dual citizenships won’t make you less of your other identity. For instance, being Filipino-Japanese. YES, being half-Japanese won’t ever make you less of a Filipino, and being half-Filipino won’t make you less of a Japanese. Look at Sayaka Akimoto. She used to have insecurities with regards to being half-Filipino, but she realized that being half-Filipino is something that she should be proud of. After all, we Filipinos are proud of her. Pretty, talented and whatnot, she’s perfection! She’s always welcome in the Philippines, and we love her.
It was really surprising that Sayaka Akimoto was born in the Philippines. Well, Wikipedia is always distorted, that’s why when I learned that she wasn’t born in Japan, I was like, “OMG!” The video is still “bitin” (word for “lacking”), therefore I was like cringing.
I think Sayaka could speak Filipino when she was younger, but then she lost the ability to speak it when she and her family moved to Japan at such a very young age. No wonder, she might be one of those hapas who hesitated to renounce their citizenship.
Ironically, Japanese channels promote multiculturalism through their celebrities travelling across the globe, but still, in their own country, why can’t they simply allow foreigners to conform to their society and consider them as Japanese? Why do they still believe that being monoracial is something that should be placed in value?
I really cannot blame Japanese society for being too homogeneous, however, since the world is already getting smaller and smaller, I guess Japan should allow multiple citizenship since “extreme loyalty” is simply a thing of the past. Globalization embraces a lot of cultures, and I guess Japan should embrace multiculturalism, while retaining their traditions, of course. They’re very well-known to balance the old and new, and the East and the West–but why are they still discouraging their people from having more than one citizenship? I may not be in the right position to judge them, but who knows, hopefully they’ll allow their citizens and gaijins to obtain more than one citizenship in the future. As of now, multiple nationality is still under a heated debate there (even though they recently rejected Kono-sama’s proposal, which is understandable because there are a few lapses in his proposal–and not only Kono-sama himself could propose a law by himself alone; it needs approval by consensus, or slight modifications).
Summary and Conclusions
After all, being a multiple citizen won’t hurt, for as long as you abide by the laws and know how to handle finances correctly, because at the end of the day, globalization is inevitable.
As for Japan, I guess I am still hopeful that they will allow multiple citizenship for hapas and for foreigners who are willing to retain their original citizenship while acquiring a new one. Like what I have said before, multiple citizenship has its own pros and cons, and speaking of which, it is still the person who will decide whether they should choose their citizenship, regardless of their nationality.
Here, if I were to acquire Japanese citizenship, that won’t make me less of a Filipino since I still consider myself a Filipino–but I still prefer having more than one citizenship in order to travel around the world without a visa–and to work in another country.
I am also fighting for people who wish to acquire another citizenship in their second home. Like me, I consider the Philippines as my home, and whenever I leave valuables, it’s alright since the Philippines is still home to me even though it’s not a rich country. However, when I stepped in Japanese soil, I told to myself, “I will make this my second home… soon!” Yes, it actually came true–I consider Japan as my second home, even though the cost of living there is high. I could imagine myself either living there or fall for a Japanese guy (with a globalized background of course).
To end this discussion, to be honest, there are a lot more details I will discuss. I think, I’ll just post the sources so that everyone will understand why multiple citizenship is more beneficial than a threat. At the end of the day, it is still the person who defines his/her identity, and being of course, let’s say, half-Greek half-Persian won’t make someone less Greek or less Persian. In other words, you cannot force someone to choose just one identity.
Posted on February 4, 2014, in Asia, Continental Talks, Department of Liberal Arts, General Beliefs, Japan, Opinion, Philippines, Political Beliefs, States and Nations of the World, The Political Analyst and tagged conflict, dual citizen, dual citizenship, essay, globalization, japan, Japanese citizenship, Japanese nationality, multiple citizenship, opinion, passport, single citizenship. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.