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A is a Japanese person of foreign descent or heritage, who was born outside Japan and later acquired Japanese
citizenship Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the law of a country (and/or local jurisdiction) of belonging to thereof. In international law it is membership to a sovereign state (a country). Each state is free to determine the condit ...
. This category encompasses persons of both Japanese and non-Japanese descent. The former subcategory is considered because of intricacies of national and international laws regarding the citizenship of newborn persons.


Legal issues

By Japanese law, adults generally cannot hold both foreign citizenship and Japanese citizenship (i.e.
dual nationality Dual or Duals may refer to: Paired/two things * Dual (mathematics), a notion of paired concepts that mirror one another ** Dual (category theory), a formalization of mathematical duality ** . . . see more cases in :Duality theori ...
is not recognized): *those who have acquired dual nationality before age 20 must choose a single nationality before reaching age 22. *those who have acquired dual nationality after age 20 must choose a single nationality in 2 years. Many who
naturalize Naturalization (or naturalisation) is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen of a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country. It may be done automatically by a statute, i.e., without any effort on the part of the ind ...
as Japanese also adopt a
Japanese name in modern times consist of a family name (surname) followed by a given name, in that order. Nevertheless, when a Japanese name is written in the Roman alphabet, ever since the Meiji era official policy has been to cater to Western expectations ...
, since names must be chosen from a list of approved kanji. Chinese or Koreans with kanji-character names may or may not have problems in this regard. No law forbids a foreign-born Japanese to be elected as a member of
Diet Diet may refer to: Food * Diet (nutrition), the sum of the food consumed by an organism or group * Dieting, the deliberate selection of food to control body weight or nutrient intake ** Diet food, foods that aid in creating a diet for weight loss ...
;
Marutei Tsurunen is a Finnish-born Japanese politician. He is the first foreign-born Japanese of European origin to serve as a member of the Diet of Japan. He is a member of the Democratic Party of Japan, where he served as Director General of the International ...
(born Martti Turunen in Finland) is Japan's first European foreign-born member of the Diet. Theoretically, therefore, a foreign-born Japanese can become the
Prime Minister of Japan The (informally referred to as the PMOJ) is head of the government of Japan, the chief executive of the National Cabinet and the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Japan; he is appointed by the emperor of Japan after being designated b ...
. Probably because of the difficulty in gaining citizenship and because of cultural difference, foreign-born Japanese people account for a very small percentage of the population in Japan. Many who were born and live in Japan permanently, particularly Korean and Chinese, do not naturalize. There has been a constant discussion among the government and lawmakers whether to expand their rights of
permanent residence ''Permanent Residence'' () is a 2009 Hong Kong film starring Sean Li and Osman Hung. It was directed by Hong Kong filmmaker Danny Cheng, also known as Scud. The film explores several themes traditionally regarded as 'taboo' in Hong Kong society, ...
to include provisions such as the right to vote in elections, etc. Few statistics are kept on how many Chinese and Koreans have naturalized, as such statistics are not maintained by the Japanese government. Once such a person naturalizes, they are, for all intents and purposes under the law, Japanese. The Japanese
jus sanguinis ( , , ; 'right of blood') is a principle of nationality law by which citizenship is determined or acquired by the nationality or ethnicity of one or both parents. Children at birth may be citizens of a particular state if either or both of the ...
policy contrasts with other countries, such as in Canada and the United States where people born natively (under
jus solis ''Jus soli'' ( , , ; meaning "right of soil"), commonly referred to as birthright citizenship, is the right of anyone born in the territory of a state to nationality or citizenship. ''Jus soli'' was part of the English common law, in contrast to ...
) acquire citizenship on birth.


Japanese by naturalization

* Akebono Taro (b. Chad Rowan), sumo wrestler * Bobby Ologun, TV talent * Chen Kenmin, TV chef * Sergio Escudero (footballer, born 1988), Sergio Ariel Escudero, football player * Ofer Feldman, scholar of Japanese political psychology * Dido Havenaar, football player * Mike Havenaar, football player * Hoshitango Imachi, sumo wrestler * Koizumi Yakumo (b. Lafcadio Hearn), Meiji-era author * Konishiki Yasokichi (b. Saleva'a Fuauli Atisano'e), sumo wrestler * Wagner Lopes (b. Wagner Augusto Lopes), football player * Miura Anjin (b. William Adams (sailor, born 1564), William Adams), Edo-era mariner * Erikson Noguchipinto, football player * Debito Arudou (b. David Schofill ne Aldwinckle), blogger * Ruy Ramos (b. Ruy Gonçalves Ramos Sobrinho), soccer player * Rikidōzan (b. Kim Sin-Nak), wrestler * Kenny Omega, professional wrestler * J. R. Sakuragi (b. Milton "J.R." Henderson), basketball player * Ademir Santos, football player * Alessandro dos Santos, Alessandro Santos (b. Alessandro dos Santos), football player * Marcos Sugiyama, volleyball player * Takamiyama Daigoro, (b. Jesse James Wailani Kuhaulua), sumo wrestler *
Marutei Tsurunen is a Finnish-born Japanese politician. He is the first foreign-born Japanese of European origin to serve as a member of the Diet of Japan. He is a member of the Democratic Party of Japan, where he served as Director General of the International ...
(b. Martti Turunen), politician * Batara Eto, co-founder of mixi * Donald Keene (also known as Donarudo Kiin), scholar and translator of Japanese literature and culture


Japanese born abroad

* Takeshi Kaneshiro, actor * Hikaru Utada, singer * Luiz Gushiken * Mina (Japanese singer), Mina, singer in South Korean group Twice * Children of the North Korean abductions of Japanese, Japanese abducted to North Korea during the 1970s–80s. Although the children had Korean names at birth, they were registered as Japanese and given Japanese names when they arrived in Japan along with their returning parents.


See also

* Ethnic issues in Japan * Dekasegi {{DEFAULTSORT:Foreign-Born Japanese Lists of Japanese people Japanese people, τ Japanese society Ethnic groups in Japan Naturalized citizens of Japan, +