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Hi Blog. I just found this in my “drafts” folder, and I apologize for not getting to it sooner.
Debito.org has mentioned before how creative judicial interpretations of Japan’s Nationality Law Article 12
(which states, in toto: “A Japanese national who was born in a foreign country and has acquired a foreign nationality by birth shall lose Japanese nationality retroactively as from the time of birth, unless the Japanese national clearly indicates his or her volition to reserve Japanese nationality according to the provisions of the Family Registration Law (Law No.224 of 1947))
are a) systematically stripping children born to mixed-nationality couples of their Japanese citizenship simply for bureaucratic expedience (for if both parents were Japanese nationals, Article 12 did not apply); and b) effectively absolving Japanese men from taking responsibility for sowing their wild oats abroad (item 8).
Now according to the ruling reported to below, it looks like Article 12 now does apply even if both parents are Japanese nationals — you have three whole months to get registered, otherwise you clearly aren’t a real Japanese. Except that in the case cited, the exclusionism is again being enforced on mudblood kids simply because their parents slipped up with proper procedure.
It remains unclear if a Japanese mother who gives birth overseas (and would hitherto automatically retain Japanese nationality for her child) and does not register her child would void the Japanese citizenship, but the intent of the interpretation below is basically to prevent dual nationality, not honor jus sanguinis ties under the law. So this looks to be an affirmation and expansion of the 2012 Tokyo District Court case, a reversal of the 2008 Supreme Court case, moreover expanded to both parents regardless of nationality.
This is what can happen if you dare give birth outside of the motherland and legally acquire a suspicious second passport. Dr. ARUDOU, Debito
Top court backs repeal of Japanese nationality due to parents’ lapse abroad
Asahi Shinbun March 11, 2015 By TAKAAKI NISHIYAMA/ Staff Writer
The Supreme Court confirmed that authorities can revoke the Japanese nationality of children born outside Japan whose parents fail to submit the proper paperwork within three months of their babies’ births.
The top court’s ruling on March 10 said Article 12 of the Nationality Law, which defines the procedures to maintain Japanese nationality, does not violate the Constitution.
As a result of the ruling, 15 female and male children born in the Philippines to Japanese fathers married to Filipino mothers have lost their Japanese nationality. They had argued that the article was irrational and discriminatory against Japanese born abroad.
The Nationality Law stipulates that if either parent of a baby born outside Japan is a Japanese national, the child will automatically acquire Japanese nationality and can also obtain the nationality of the country of birth.
But the parents must submit a notification to a Japanese administrative institution within three months of the baby’s birth to maintain the Japanese nationality, according to Article 12 of the law.
In the top court’s first ruling on the constitutionality of the provision, Takehiko Otani, presiding justice of the court’s Third Petty Bench, said, “The legislative purpose (of Article 12) designed to avoid dual nationality is rational and constitutional.”
According to the plaintiffs, their Japanese nationality was revoked because their parents did not know about the provision and failed to submit the documents to Japanese authorities within the designated three-month period.
The Supreme Court said Article 12 is “not irrational nor discriminatory against people born overseas” because it gives the parents three months to submit the notification.
The top court also noted another provision in the law, which allows such children to obtain Japanese nationality before they reach 20 years old if they notify authorities that have a permanent address in Japan.