World, Asia - Pacific

Japan's multiple nationality ban constitutional: Court

Tokyo court rules against plaintiffs challenging law that requires citizens to give up Japanese nationality for others

Riyaz Ul Khaliq   | 21.01.2021
Japan's multiple nationality ban constitutional: Court

ANKARA 

A court in Japan has ruled that the country’s law prohibiting citizens from having multiple nationalities is constitutional, local media reported on Thursday.

The Tokyo District Court was hearing a case filed by eight people seeking to maintain their Japanese nationality along with citizenship of European countries where they now reside, according to Kyodo News.

Under Article 11 of the nationality law, Japanese citizens “who acquire non-Japanese nationality on their own instigation automatically lose their Japanese one, effectively banning multiple nationalities,” read the report.

The plaintiffs claimed the stipulation was originally enforced to prevent “overlapping military service obligations imposed by multiple nations and other purposes.”

They said the law “forcefully depriving Japanese people of nationality violates the Constitution,” the report said.

The government, however, opposed their claim, saying it “takes no note of national interests, as permitting multiple citizenship would enable people to have voting rights or diplomatic protection in several countries.”

According to Kyodo News, some 518,000 Japanese people were estimated to have permanent residency status in other countries as of October 2019.

The government, however, has been “unable to confirm how many of them hold multiple citizenship,” the report added.

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