Kya (pinkpapyrus) wrote in little_details,

Young dual national (Japan and U.S.)

My character is sixteen years old, and he's been living in the U.S. with his U.S.-born grandparents for the last eight years. At the start of the book, his grandparents have died, and his Japanese parents have brought him back to Osaka. After a long stretch of trying and failing to adjust, he decides to move back to the States as soon as he's of age and give up his Japanese citizenship as the final punctuation on that part of his life.

I've done research on dual nationality using several government-sponsored sites and spoken to a number of people who've dealt with the process in the past, but I ran into a snag, and so far everyone has a different answer. I'd really appreciate some help!

My character was born in the States to native Japanese parents. From what I understand, this would make him a dual national. I've also read that Japan has a policy requiring dual nationals of the U.S. and Japan to choose a nationality by the age of 22. However, the U.S. doesn't have this policy, and, according to this site:

“Choosing” Japanese nationality does not mean you lose U.S. nationality. If your choice is to remain Japanese, you will still retain your U.S. citizenship. If you wish to renounce your U.S. citizenship, something we never advise, you must come to the Embassy or a consulate in person to complete that procedure. This is completely separate from the Japan requirement to choose or not choose Japanese citizenship.

If I'm reading this correctly, then the whole procedure seems contradictory. If Japan requires you to choose one nationality, aren't you automatically renouncing the other one?

My second question is hopefully simpler. Since my character has dual citizenship, I had him born in the U.S., live in Japan from ages 0.5-8, then live in the States from 8-16, and now back in Japan again. Would that kind of jumping around be possible in his case?

I hope I made this clear enough, and thank you in advance for your help!
Tags: japan: government (misc), usa: government (misc)

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