A noncommercial collection of information about citizenship, dual citizenship and multiple citizenship

[Please refer to How to Read a Country Entry for help interpreting this material. It was produced prior to March 2001 as part of a US government report entitled Citizenship Laws of the World. The accuracy and depth of these country listings varies significantly, and some information may be incorrect. At best, this page presents only part of the story for a particular country. Additional information for this country may be available in Country Information]


CITIZENSHIP: Japanese citizenship is regulated by the Nationality Act of May 4, 1950.

BY BIRTH: Birth within the territory of Japan does not automatically confer Japanese citizenship. Only in the case of a child whose parents are unknown or stateless is the child considered a Japanese citizen.

BY DESCENT: Child, whose father is a citizen of Japan, regardless of the child's country of birth. This law also applies if the father dies before the birth of the child. Child born to Japanese mother and unknown or stateless father.

BY NATURALIZATION: No information was provided.

DUAL CITIZENSHIP: NOT RECOGNIZED. Exception: If a child is born abroad to Japanese parents the child can acquire dual nationality if citizenship is also acquired in the country of birth. Person with dual nationality has to choose one nationality by the age of 22. If dual nationality is acquired between ages 20 and 22, the person must choose one nationality within 2 years. If one does not choose Japanese nationality within these periods, the Minister of Justice can require one to choose a nationality. Failure to comply within one month of this requirement will result in loss of Japanese citizenship.


VOLUNTARY: Voluntary renunciation of citizenship can be accomplished at any Japanese consulate abroad. Paperwork will be completed at the Embassy; citizenship will terminate immediately. Renunciations do not have to be further approved by the government.

INVOLUNTARY: The following is grounds for involuntary loss of Japanese citizenship: Person voluntarily acquires foreign nationality.

ANY QUESTIONS concerning citizenship, or requests for renunciation of citizenship, should be directed to the address below:

The Embassy of Japan Consular Section 2520 Massachusetts Ave., NW Washington, DC 20008

Embassy/Consular Telephone: 202-238-6700 Fax: 202-328-2187



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