OCT 23, 1999

(sent to the world Sat, 23 Oct 1999)

FWIW, I handed in my naturalization papers yesterday at the Ministry of Justice and completed the application process. What's next?

1) The Japanese government will now deliberate on my case. They will fine-tooth-comb my paperwork to find any discrepancies and get in touch with me for clarification as they arise.

2) If all goes well, in five months, they will be dropping by to interview me, my family and friends (I will even be steering them towards our town mayor) to see just how Japanese I am. I will let you know, of course, how that goes.

3) In about a year or so (Konishiki took three years because of his alleged comments to the New York Times about the Sumo Kyoukai being racist), they will let me know the results.

My person in the MoJ who has been handling my case, a very nervous gentleman who is friendly but not very forthcoming at times, said:

"I've been seeing you a lot in the papers these days about the Otaru Onsens thingie."

Says me, after a Konishiki-sized pregnant pause:

"Will that affect my chances of becoming a Japanese citizen?"

"Absolutely not," he said, without pause and with a certainty I had never seen in him before. "You are doing this privately, not as a member of a known subversive group. You are not trying to undermine our country or our Constitution. This will in no way affect the decisionmaking process."

We shall see. For I consider myself a litmus test. If they even let ME in, with all this stuff I'm doing, it will say to me that Japan is ready for a pluralist society. If not, then, well, it'll be the same old story.

Dave Aldwinckle

But it was not over yet... Click here to see Part Five of the series, where I actually become a Japanese citizen: (

Copyright 2000, Dave Aldwinckle, Sapporo, Japan