Naturalization in Japan: KEY FACTS

I am amazed at how the myth of Japan’s difficult naturalization process persists to be widely believed by well-educated Japanese and non-nationals alike. In a lengthy discussion of this last night, I researched some key facts on this and thought the results of my review worth sharing with MF readers.

* 15,440 people applied for naturalization in 2008, according to the MOJ. Of these, 13,218 people were naturalized, but that figure is deceivingly low as the application process takes 6-12 months (or longer), and some approvals will show up next year. Only 269 were rejected, which means that the rejection rate was less than 2%. The overall approval rate for first-time applicants for the past decade has been 99%.
* For the past decade, about 60% of applicants were Korean (including North and South Korea, and the generic “Chosen” applied to many Koreans born in Japan) and about 30% were Chinese (including Taiwan and Hong Kong).
* The basic requirement is five years of continuous legal residency in Japan, but this can be shortened to one year if the applicant has been married to a Japanese citizen for three years or more. Read the law in Japanese here.
* Otherwise, the requirements for naturalization are relatively straightforward, and I think most MF readers could naturalize easily. You must: be a competent adult; read kanji to a third-grade level; be an upstanding citizen with no criminal record; have sufficient income or assets to support your family; be prepared to give up other citizenship; and have never been involved in advocating or perpetrating the violent overthrow of the government or constitution.
* Unofficially, the primary cause of a rejection is a “criminal record” — not crimes bad enough for deportation, but crimes such as multiple speeding tickets. Nothing in the law prevents a failed applicant from immediately reapplying.
* The application is done at the local houmukyoku Legal Affairs Bureau. The cost of the application is free. Gyouseishoshi and shihoushoshi professional legal advisors can also handle the paperwork and application, for fees generally ranging from 200,000-400,000 yen.
* A key procedural step to naturalization is assembling the birth certificates and marriage certificates of the applicant and the applicants parents so that the applicant can create a koseki family registry.
* A family registry has two addresses, the ordinary residential address and the “honseki” which people generally keep as their family home, but which can be transferred freely. If a naturalized person changes their honseki to a new municipality, they get a new, clean koseki that only states present, not prior, facts, so the evidence of naturalization disappears from their koseki. (So do other key facts, which is a way that some people hide marriage annulment and divorce history.) This is only surface concealment — the original honseki is held by the municipality as a separate record, by law, for 80 years.
* There are a few examples of Europeans naturalizing as Japanese nationals during the Meiji Era and beyond, when some Europeans kept their names unchanged, in roman letters. After World War II and until 1985, applicants were required by ministry procedures to adopt a Japanese name. This was dropped as an explicit requirement that year, but remained as an inexplicit requirement through the 1990s. Presently, the only requirement is that a person write their name in kanji, hiragana or katakana, with no encouragement to otherwise adopt a “Japanese” name.
* It is rumored that one reason this requirement was dropped was because of the naturalizatio of Masayoshi Son, the president of Softbank born in Japan to Korean parents, and one of Japan’s richest people. When he applied for naturalization, the authorities said that he had to take a Japanese name or prove that Son (or 孫) was a Japanese name. As he was advised by lawyers with more than half a brain cell, his wife petitioned the family court to take his family name, this was accepted by the court, and he had the necessary proof. The flummoxed bureaucrats thus took the view that this now unwritten requirement was outdated and dropped it.

138 thoughts on “Naturalization in Japan: KEY FACTS”

  1. What does that last paragraph mean? “she petitioned the court to take his family name?”

  2. randomcommenter: You need to petition the family court to change your name in Japan, unless you do it when you marry. Married Japanese citizens must have the same family name; apparently, allowing them to have different surnames would utterly destroy the fabric of family life. However, if a Japanese citizen marries a foreigner, they are allowed to have different family names. At least at the moment (five years ago), the Japanese spouse can change their name to match the foreign spouse just by submitting a form, as long as they do it within six months of marriage. After that, they need to petition the family court.

    (On the marriage form, you tick a box to say which family name you will use. That doesn’t apply to international marriages.)

    I have heard, however, that the bureaucrats strongly discourage people from applying to naturalise if they think that the application might fail. That might bias the success rate somewhat. (A bit like I heard that, if the immigration office take your application off you, you are almost certain to get the visa; if you look dubious, they’ll send you away to collect more data.) I don’t know whether that’s true, and I’m not sure how you’d gather the data to check the “real” picture. But, in any case, Japanese immigration generally doesn’t seem to be as hard as it is often made out to be.

  3. “15,440 people applied for naturalization in 2008, according to the MOJ. Of these, 13,218 people were naturalized, but that figure is deceivingly low”

    Perhaps not. As with permanent residency, you get some heavy hints as to whether an application has a chance of being accepted. If you are warned that you may be rejected then you ought to not to apply. Just as with a PR application, a rejection can count against a second application so you really shouldn’t apply until you’ve got your ducks all lined up and the informal nod to proceed.

    In other words, there’s another level of rejection which no data currently captures. (I’ve just noticed that David Chart makes the same point above).

  4. I wouldn’t call this a KEY FACT, but once you naturalize your name and address will be published in the official register. I don’t see a problem with it exactly, but with the Japanese so uptight about privacy why not afford it to their new comrades as well?

    Looking specifically at Japanese vs. US citizenship, being Japanese potentially carries with it more benefits than being American. For one, you can take advantage of the working holiday program in many countries, including Australia. It works for Canada too, but Americans have special access to that country due to the close bilateral relationship. You can also probably get through immigration in many countries with a bit less hassle than Americans, due to the general anti-American shift and reciprocal animosity between immigration authorities for America’s arbitrarily strict rules that they impose on the rest of the world.

    I am not sure of the exact figures, but Japanese citizens enjoy most of the same visa waivers and on-arrival visa privileges as the US.

    And of course as a non-citizen you wouldn’t be subject to American taxes if you’re a high wage earner.

    One downside is Japan has a comparatively minimal diplomatic presence in much of the world. That said, just about any Japanese citizen who runs into trouble overseas receives massive media attention back home, so arguably you could be in better hands.

    Also, as a non-citizen banking and other services on US soil would become more complicated. The banks tend to require a US driver’s license and SSN card before letting you open an account, and I assume most want a valid address. Same would go for insurance and investment products, should you need to get them in the US.

    random: Curzon could have spelled this out more, but my understanding is this.

    By default, Japanese women who marry a foreign man keep their original family names. If they want to take their husband’s name, they must petition the family court for a name change. So when the court allowed Son’s wife to take the name, Son magically became a Japanese surname and that was that.

  5. Just want to add that if you have a company in Japan, as I did when I applied, the amount of paperwork goes up considerably, since you have to provide tons of information about your company. Getting the help of a legal practitioner is essential in such a case.

  6. “being Japanese potentially carries with it more benefits than being American.”

    Left out a big plus on the US side – you can have dual citizenship with, say, an EU country and get unlimited stays / right to work across the whole sphere. There is even a good chance that you can do the whole “ancestral citizenship” thing and get dual that way.

  7. Adamu: Being Japanese is actually better for international travel — entry to China and Vietnam visa-free, lower fees in many countries.

    If you need a US bank account as a Japanese citizen/resident, you can open one at Union Bank of California through an MUFJ account, and UBC even gives you Japanese customer service. E-Trade is also easy to open offshore — I’m in the process of getting a US E-Trade account set up using my Japanese address. Non-citizens welcome for that, too. For what it’s worth, Japanese securities houses will often ask you whether you are a US citizen when you open an account, and if you, are they will deactivate your US-related trading options because they don’t want to get caught up in our crummy tax regime.

    Mrs. Joe is sitting on the name change form at the moment. She’s going to become Mrs. Jones after the honeymoon so that she doesn’t need to get her passport re-issued right away.

  8. BTW, my wife took my family name and apparently just submitted one extra page with her konin todoke at the local city hall.

  9. The form you are referring to is the 外国人との婚姻による氏の変更届, otherwise known as the 氏名変更届出. This must be submitted by the spouse within six months of the marriage; otherwise, the permission of the family court is required. (Article 107 of the Koseki Law: )

  10. Joe, regardless of the name change, her passport remains valid until the expiration date, so she can submit her papers anytime.

  11. Wataru, I understood that if the applicant is an officer of a company, you need submit your the tokibo (which anyone can get from the local legal affairs bureau), a basic 会社概要 narrative, a balance sheet and a tax return. Is there anything else?

  12. Curzon, many thanks for this very clear and level headed view of an issue that you have rightly pointed out is a little overblown.

    I wonder if you could see any problems should one not be able to provide official documentation of a biological parent? I understand that in Japan someone can be born and not have a father registered on the koseki, but I guess it possibly produces a security risk for a naturalizing citizen…which leads me to ask – do the Japanese immigration intelligence do checks like most other countries?

  13. My legal advisor was running around to various city offices and ward offices to pick up documents proving that we had paid taxes for the past three years. On the day I presented the pile of documents to the guy at the homukyoku, it took over two hours for him just to go through the pile and make sure every required document was present. I don’t remember the exact ratio, but I recall that the company-related documents were a significant portion of the total, and took quite a bit of time to obtain or prepare.
    Of course your basic premise that naturalization is “easy” is true. The paperwork is a pain, but you don’t have to learn Japanese history or anything like they make people do in the US. One of the hardest parts for me was getting birth, death, and marriage certificates for my parents and siblings. But the Internet has made that much easier these days.

  14. Are you sure about the requirement that the new Japanese name be written in kanji, hiragana, or katakana? Doesn’t the Japan Times and naturalized Japanese author/naturalist, C.W. Nicol, have his official 戸籍 {koseki} name as CWニコル (not sure about the dots or periods). Are you sure that 全角ローマ字 in some cases isn’t also okay?

  15. Wataru, thanks for sharing.

    Eido: “Are you sure about the requirement that the new Japanese name be written in kanji, hiragana, or katakana? ”

    Yes. Kosekis cannot contain English or Hangul. Many married readers know that by experience, as we appear on the koseki’s in Katakana, not Romaji.

  16. A number of acquaintances of mine who have looked seriously into the issue have generally concluded that naturalization is no harder, and in some respects easier, than obtaining permanent residency.

    Curzon is undoubtedly right, though, that naturalization is often spoken about as if it is on a par with a Sasuke obstacle course. What might contribute to this portrayal is that some foreigners have an outdated view of how easy it is to obtain citizenship in their own countries. I heard one British guy giving his fiancee the impression that she’d have a UK passport delivered to the honeymoon suite. Fortunately, she’d read the requirements herself – they are on a par with Japan – so wasn’t disappointed. On that score at least.

    Nevertheless, whatever the letter of the law, it is still worth stressing the old caveat that “your mileage may vary”. One official may take cursory evidence of your marriage as sufficient while another may want a daily chronology of the relationship starting from when you both first met. Income and assets, in particular, can come under varying degrees of scrutiny.

  17. if you are British, you can’t lose your British nationality even if you naturalize elsewhere. probably so that can conscript you or tax you in the future.

  18. Curzon: I asked because of the information in the comments at which says that C.W. Nicols, who is a naturalized Japanese, has his Japanese drivers license display his 本名 {honmyō} as “C.W. ニコル”.

    Now, I realize that a driver’s license is not the same thing as a 戸籍 {koseki}, but I wasn’t under the impression that you could have a Japanese driver’s license name that deviated from the name on the 戸籍 {koseki}.

    Re the requirements for naturalization: they never tested me on my Japanese ability. IIRC, the “Japanese language requirement” was an interviewer judgement call for the “自己又は生計を一にする配偶者その他の親族の資産又は技能によつて生計を営むことができること” requirement. In other words, do you have enough Japanese ability/skill [技能] to hold a job [生計を営む]? It’s a judgement call of the interviewer. He never asked to see my certs for the JLPT or JKAT etc. Not a single part of the naturalization process (written or oral) was in English or available in English. Perhaps if I had insisted on interpretation, English, or had trouble understanding, he may have probed my Japanese ability more thoroughly.

    Also, you may want to point out that unlike many other countries like the U.S., PR is not a prerequisite.

    You forgot to mention one additional thing about Special Naturalization (特別帰化 {tokubetsu kika}) aka Simplified Naturalization (簡易帰化 {kan’i kika}) — which means applying while being married to a Japanese, vs Regular Naturalization: in addition to dropping the legal residency requirement down from five years to one year, the age requirement drops from 20 to the legal age of adulthood in one’s original country. So an American could theoretically naturalize at 18 if they’re married to a Japanese citizen.

    Finally, for giggles, you may want to mention one special freak case of naturalization: 大帰化 (taikika) aka Extraordinary Naturalization. Basically, if Japan thinks you’re so full of win that the upper and lower house of the Diet can vote >50% in favor, they just give you Japanese citizenship – no strings attached: no matter what your criminal record is, your level of Japanese, you length of time in Japan, or whether you give up your other citizenships. Why the giggles? The law has been on the books since 1950, yet not a single foreigner has ever been taikika-ed.

    I imagine if you single handedly save a plane load of Japanese that just crashed (with some of them being politicians or royalty), that may get you taikika-ed. ☺

    FYI, they’re pretty relaxed about the birth certificates for building the 戸籍 {koseki}. When they told me the scope of the paperwork they wanted, I joked that I’d probably have an easier time getting the DEATH certificates of some of the people they wanted rather than the birth certificates. I only managed to get the birth certificate of my mother and my sister yet they still let me through.

  19. “some foreigners have an outdated view of how easy it is to obtain citizenship in their own countries.”

    My experience applying for PR for my wife in my country has been a real eye opener.

  20. Martin Dunjeune: Not true. The rules for giving it up are on the UK Border Agency web site, at

    However, former British citizens also have the right to resume British nationality (once), if they gave it up to become a citizen of another country (see the bottom of that page). That means that British citizens can naturalise in Japan, and change their minds later (or take advantage if Japan decides to formally allow dual nationality for adults at some point).

    This is obviously very nice for British citizens thinking of naturalising in Japan.

  21. >>be prepared to give up other citizenship<<

    This presents an unfair hurdle.

    Is there any information on how this is handled in practice, and how many dual nationals there now exist in Japan? Is there talk about changing this requirement in the future?

  22. David Chart: This same principle applies in New Zealand also – possibly Australia. Other commonwealth countries like Australia and Canada I am not so sure, but it surely is very helpful!

  23. Thanks for the info, as always, Curzon.

    What makes J naturalization difficult (or at least more difficult than something dismissible as “myth”) is:

    1) You are screened with an extensive interview when you want to naturalize, to weed out the people who are not likely to pass the interview. The less than 2% fail rate does not indicate how easy the process is when it is already a bureaucrat-selected sample. (If anything, it should be even closer to 100%, but I guess our a priori screeners are not infallible).

    2) The documentation is a chore (as it is anywhere), but the nonexistence of certain documents overseas that would pass as required proof of family ties for Japan (for existence, the lack of a US document proving the ABSENCE of siblings, in my case) makes for some extra paper chasing and affidavits. (Good thing I got my parents to sign a few things they considered as privacy invasions back then; now that our relations have been severed due in part to my giving up my US citizenship, I’m sure they wouldn’t be so cooperative now. That leads me to my next point:)

    3) The inclusion of parties who should not be materiel to the facts of the case, such as whether your extended family approves of your naturalization, possible on-site screenings of your nuclear family for “Japaneseness”, and interviews with your neighbors as further testimony, makes for a potentially very arbitrary process indeed. You really are at the mercy of your screeners, and you better hope they like you (or don’t mind speeding or parking tickets; mine didn’t, but they certainly did for a Zainichi friend of mine) or else you’ll have to start all over again.

    More of course at , which no doubt Curzon and others here have read. The point is, the difficulty of the Japanese naturalization process is not a “myth”. It is a very real procedure that can intimidate many people into just not bothering. At least it was a decade ago when I went through it. Arudou Debito

  24. I get the impression that most people who complain about the difficulty of Japan’s immigration framework, i.e. visas and naturalization, have nothing in their own experience or knowledge to compare it to. There are absolutely annoyances, and definite examples of downright injustice (refugees, various issues involving children that have been discussed here before), but on the whole it’s actually one of the easiest countries in the entire world to get a visa for.

    Having lived in Taiwan for a year, and heard plenty of stories of how things work in countries like Korea, not to mention my own USA, I can say that Japanese visas are actually – in relative terms – very easy in a lot of ways. For example, Japan is the only country of which I am aware in which a foreign student can almost automatically get permission to work, 20+ hours per week, in almost any job (“fuzoku” jobs are the main banned category). In the US, I understand, it can be very, very difficult for foreign students to get work permission.

    No one is actually saying that it is a myth that Japanese naturalization is difficult in ABSOLUTE terms. The myth is that naturalization in Japan is particularly hard in RELATIVE terms, compared with other, similar countries. Yes, it may be harder for certain kinds of applicants than in extremely immigrant friendly countries like the US or Australia, but it still seems to be among the easiest – if not the easiest (I would love comparisons from people who know particular countries) – in Asia.

  25. Additional comments regarding my personal experience:

    ★ You can’t go to your “local” (出張所 {shutchōjo}) legal affairs bureau (法務局 {hōmukyoku}) as they only do real estate and have no 国籍課 {kokuseki-ka} (Nationality Division). For Tokyoites, this means many trips to 九段下 {Kudanshita} to the 8th floor of gov building two.

    ★ You get the same representative for the entire process, and you meet him/her on an appointment basis; the pattern is, you two talk, he/she tells you what papers to prepare, you go get the papers they want, you make another appointment with the rep, you bring the papers back, he/she checks them, then sends you off for another batch. Rinse and repeat. The paperwork gathering stops around meeting #3 or #4. You’re done in anywhere from 8 to 12 months. 10 months average.

    ★ The “continuous residency” requirement is measured by the length of time under one (continuously renewed) visa/permanent residency permit AND stretches of time where you have not been outside of Japan for more than 100 days of a year. They do photocopy all (old and current) passports that has anything with Japan in it — and every page with a stamp in it.

    ★ In addition to speeding tickets / driving violations (DUI? fugetabout it), not paying (Japanese) taxes, 年金 {nenkin} (pension) or Japanese insurance (社会保険 {shakaihoken} or NHI) will also likely deep six your application. Also, excessive (unstructured ala credit cards) debt — domestic/abroad — can also DQ you.

    ★ You’re told from the very first interview (the start of your ten month application process) that giving up your other citizenship(s) is a key requirement and asked if you understand the ramifications. Thus, it would be very, very, hard to claim (to either Japan or the U.S.) that you had no intention of renouncing or you did so under duress or you were unaware that it was required. Christopher Savoie lied.

  26. … Also, any history of “overstaying” (even if that means renewing your visa a day late) will also DQ you.

    That being said, all in all, it’s still a relatively easy process. It’s not like you have to be rich or a superstar or an accomplished scientist. Most hard working, average long term ex-pats in Japan could qualify if they wanted it.

  27. Debito: I don’t know if times have changed since you applied but they did have a standard form that they told my mother to sign (and it didn’t need to be notarized †), indicating that the listed siblings (or lack of them) were the only children she had given (live) birth to.

    † the form was in Japanese. He said for me to just pre-fill it out, explain to my mother what it is, and get her signature on it.

    So while there isn’t a document in the U.S. to prove that, they had a stock form for my American mother to complete to verify that I wasn’t leaving anybody out of the family tree.

    There seems to be other stuff on the net that’s now out of date; for example, they didn’t ask me for a “map of my neighborhood or workplace” like it said I’d be asked on some web pages. When I asked about it, my rep made a joke (referencing my job), saying “we can use the internet for that.”

  28. Eido, very interesting stuff.

    I was asked to eat a plate of warabi mochi
    by my balding tormentor who finally relented
    after about 10 visits.

    Above all I found this to be quite demeaning
    but it was the final hoop to jump through
    and I was prepared to do anything to shut
    him up by that stage !

  29. “In the US, I understand, it can be very, very difficult for foreign students to get work permission.”

    Hell, it can be very hard to get permission to work in the U.S., full stop. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have got in were I not married to an American citizen. Of course, in Japan, I was given the right to work while I was on holiday and then changed my visa status without any problems at all.

  30. While I can’t speak to the Japanese system (I’m still here on a working visa), the U.S. system is somewhere between painful and hellish. Naturalization to the U.S. is not particularly difficult once you are a PR, but becoming a PR….My experience, for my wife, took us a total of 5 years (starting from the day after we married), numerous 8 hour visits to INS (now the USCIS), very steep fees, and lots of phone calls and other confusing communications. At one point we thought we were in significant danger because of an error in a travel document I filed for her, which was compounded by bad advice we got from the INS about how to resolve the error.

    And we were doing it the easy way–through marriage. Before I left the U.S., I worked for several years as a paralegal at an immigration law firm, specializing in helping high tech companies bring highly skilled workers to the U.S. Some of those people spent many thousands of dollars (or their companies did)…some had been waiting or working on the process for up to a dozen years, and throughout the entire process they were highly dependent on the good will and continued economic success of their sponsoring companies, which, not surprisingly, was taken advantage of by the companies on occasion.

  31. “And we were doing it the easy way—through marriage.”

    Really? I got my green card as soon as I arrived.

  32. There is a lot of good advice that newcomers to Japan can get from old lags in Japan but we can sometimes overestimate our usefulness when it comes to visa/PR/naturalization issues. Unless you work as a lawyer, personnel officer or business owner and are regularly making applications or seeing other people make applications, even old lags really only have limited personal experience from which to speak.

    Having said that, it’s certainly very useful to have detailed accounts like the ones Eido Inoue & Arudou Debito give of their own naturalization process. I’m sure anyone starting out on the journey is grateful for any information they can get about someone else’s experience.

    I’d only caution that the different times, different places and different people inevitably produce different outcomes. That’s one of the reasons no-one is ever quite certain whether it is getting easier or harder to go through these procedures successfully.

  33. @Bryce: While that is technically possible nowadays, it’s highly unlikely. As far as I could tell, the majority of U.S. PRs are already in the U.S., on some form of temporary visa, and are adjusting their status to become PRs. But even if someone was outside of the U.S., if you’re talking about employment based PR, then it would still take (last time I checked, a year or two ago) at an absolute minimum, 6-12 months, during which the employer was either proving that they tried and failed to find a qualified U.S. worker, or developing a special petition proving the worker is so extraordinary or outstanding that there is no comparable U.S. worker.

    @Mulboyne: This has been my regular criticism of much of Debito’s activism–I often feel like so much of it rooted in behaviors, attitudes, and even legal practices that, as a newcomer, I just don’t see as much of. I’m not trying to deny that there are discriminatory practices here–that would be ludicrous. But I actually find the internal biases (sexism and ageism, in particular) to be far more troublesome than racism/nationalism. As you say, the stories are valuable, but I don’t know that they’re actually all that universal. Maybe I’ve just been lucky…

  34. Eido and I brought this chat into an e-mail thread, so I’ll just quickly post my response here:

    “I asked because of the information in the comments at which says that C.W. Nicols, who is a naturalized Japanese, has his Japanese drivers license display his 本名 {honmyō} as “C.W. ニコル”.”

    Yeah, so I keep hearing from Debito, but I need more sources (and preferably information from the person himself) as to how this one exception exists despite law, procedures, and everything else stating otherwise. Could it be a 通称? When you do that todokede at the office, do they accept ROmaji?

    “Now, I realize that a driver’s license is not the same thing as a 戸籍 {koseki}, but I wasn’t under the impression that you could have a Japanese driver’s license name that deviated from the name on the 戸籍 {koseki}.”


    “Re the requirements for naturalization…”

    Thanks for that,fun to hear.

    “You forgot to mention one additional thing about Special Naturalization (特別帰化 {tokubetsu kika}) aka Simplified Naturalization (簡易帰化 {kan’i kika}) — which means applying while being married to a Japanese, vs Regular Naturalization: in addition to dropping the legal residency requirement down from five years to one year, the age requirement drops from 20 to the legal age of adulthood in one’s original country. So an American could theoretically naturalize at 18 if they’re married to a Japanese citizen.”

    Well, that’s navel gazing, and your numbers are off. What could happen is that a girl, who can marry from 16 in Japan, could with her parents permission get married and live in Japan, and three years later would be eligible to apply, but given the time required, they’d still be an adult when they naturalized, so I’d be amazed if there has ever been one such case of a person naturalizing in these circumstances. And that only restates what would happen regardless when you apply the 民法, as once you’re married in Japan as a minor, you automatically become a competent adult.

    “Finally, for giggles, you may want to mention one special freak case of naturalization: 大帰化 (taikika)”

    Yeah, but here also, I was looking at what people should practically know. The US has had it for 225 years and we’ve given it to two people, so Japan’s about on par with our standards.

    “FYI, they’re pretty relaxed about the birth certificates for building the 戸籍 {koseki}.”

    Also good to hear, thanks.

  35. Debito, for years your site has been the only resource (certainly in English) for information on naturalization. It’s not said enough: thank you, thank you, thank you.

  36. Glad to be of assistance. The stuff up on is already a decade old. I would have hoped in the interim that things would change, hopefully for the better. Eido says they have, Curzon is giving us the legal backbone that bureaucrats look to, and here we all are seriously considering the prospects of actually taking out J citz. Good. That’s a huge change from the late Nineties.

    Now hopefully the sentiments I’ve gotten over the years (particularly from patriotic Americans) of outright horror (if not cries of the word “traitor”; seriously) for giving up my US citizenship will also change. But I have the feeling that that will be even slower than what happens in the J bureaucracy. D

  37. Some conversations with my American relatives around the time of the wedding were even more surreal.

    “So now that you live here do you have a Japanese passport?”
    “No. I’d have to be a citizen.”
    “Could you get one?”
    “Yes, after some time, but they would want me to give up my American one.”
    “Whoa. So why don’t you bring your wife to the US to have kids so they can be Americans?”
    “Um, because we don’t want to go bankrupt?”

  38. “(particularly from patriotic Americans)”

    Aah, patriotism. The last refuge of a scoundrel…

  39. Dear Eido Inoue

    How long it took for you after final interview to became a japanese citezen? i will be thankfull if u will answer my question



  40. I am planning to apply for permanent residency in July. I do not expect to have any problems – I have been here for 11 years, married to a Japanese citizen for 7 and am gainfully employed at a respectable-sounding company, albeit for “sparrows tears”.

    What I would like to know is why some of you decided to go the whole hog and naturalize, rather than remaining a PR?

  41. Naturalizing for me was a commitment, (1) to spending the rest of my life in Japan, and (2) to my family. Sharing the same name with my entire family is an important benefit, and so is voting in elections.

  42. And to respond to a private comment, each of my family members has a strong identity as a Japanese and would never accept having a non-Japanese name.

  43. Okay, so you’re referring to inheriting a surname from a parent. Your family members would never want a non-Japanese last name. Does it follow that they would never want a “non-Japanese” given name as well?

  44. That’s an interesting perspective from Wataru. Though I realize it’s an intensely personal decision, I don’t think your last name needs to have anything to do with your ethnic identity.

    Part of it is that both of my parents had Welsh family names (Jones and Price), inherited in both cases from great great great [insert a few more greats here] grandfathers. I have never been to Wales, and neither have they; to my knowledge I haven’t even met anyone from Wales. My mother identified herself as nothing but American; my father alternatively identifies himself as both Irish (by birth) and American (by naturalization), I identify myself as both Irish and American, and I would hope that my so-called “half Japanese” kids can identify themselves as having three ethnic and cultural backgrounds no matter which name they choose to adopt.

    Part of it is that “Joe” is not my real first name; it’s derived from my middle name and my first name is completely different. So I have lived all my life being called by two completely different names depending on the familiarity of the person addressing me, and it’s really not a problem for me at all.

    Part of it is that I work with a number of Japanese women who adopted their non-Japanese husbands’ family names. Some are completely shameless and happy about the katakana name and use it all the time; others use their maiden name professionally but privately confess that they like their foreign name more. But in any event, it doesn’t seem to make them feel any less Japanese.

    Anyway, my wife and kids are going to have my non-Japanese last name while remaining just as Japanese as anyone else. If nothing else, it’s food for thought for the world around them — that anyone brought up or brought into the Japanese society can be 100% Japanese regardless of their name or color or background. There will be people who don’t get this, of course, but we are a decade into the 21st century now, and it’s about time for those people to adjust.

    I might eventually naturalize so I can spend the rest of my life in Japan, but voting here will certainly not be a consideration, unless Koizumi comes back.

  45. “unless Koizumi comes back.”

    You can always vote for his son,you know.

    Mongolians don’t have surname but they adopted Russian style “son-of blah blah”and in case of my two kids,they have Japanese last names which is that of my family.
    My new born son’s name is Ayush.A sanskrit name adopted by Mongolians who are converted to Tibetan Buddhism.My eldest son’s name is “Agii”shortage for “Altangerel”,another popular Mongolian name comes from famous Tibetan monk.

    Both are not exactly a Japanese name,but can be written in kanji,thus”looks”Japanese.Anyway,you wouldn’t believe the bizarre names you can find among kids these days.

  46. I guess the Japanese in my family could write their name as 助音頭 or something, but that would be weirder than keeping it in katakana. One of the tragedies of my legal name is that it is poorly suited for ateji.

    I want to give each of my kids two given names, one Japanese and one not Japanese. The Japanese name will go on the koseki and both names will go on their passports. That way they can effectively choose which one to use in practice. My wife thinks this is totally weird, though; she wants each kid to have one ambiguously Japanese name. It may be an uphill battle to win consensus on this point.

  47. Joe, our three kids are now grown up (youngest is 18), but they originally had their mother’s maiden name as their surname, and were glad of it when they were in school. Now they are glad to have my (Japanese) name, which we all agreed upon before I adopted it. My wife, on the other hand, would not have minded taking my name before I naturalized, though that was not yet an (easy) option when we married 27 years ago.
    Voting, by the way, is not only at the national level. I have voted in every election large and small since naturalizing, including city/ward elections. I can’t imagine not voting.

  48. While there are indeed many different valid perspectives on this, my wife thought of taking my surname as what “Japanese do” and thus a point of “Japanese identity” although there was brief talk (by my mother in law, mostly) of me becoming 婿養子.

    Joe – Not really my place to step into a debate between you and your wife, but I think that you are totally right – with more and more mixed children being born there are just too many “Emi”s kicking around. The kids are going to end up with the same names as the next generation of half geinojin (or pornstars) and that ends up a bit lame (or scary). We picked a “classically Showa” name for our first and most everyone back home thinks that it is just awesome.

  49. Some of my wife’s friends, even in Japanese-Japanese marriages, picked really bizarre names for their kids. One named her son “Rimo” — the explanation being that her maiden name is “Mori,” and “Mori Rimo” would sound really stupid, so it’s allegedly an incentive for her to never divorce her husband.

    On the other hand, another friend married to a US Navy officer named their son “Kai,” which is pretty awesome, especially from the perspective of a Deep Space Nine fan.

  50. Pick up any issue of BabyMo and you will find a decent sample of what are “Japanese” names these days. There is a section in the middle of the magazine that is in essence a thirty page diaper ad, with the names of babies and their parents and how much craziness raising a baby is, etc.

    Anyhow, while there is the occasional retro name for boys (Ryunosuke, Soshiro), I just went through thirty pages and there wasn’t a single girl with a name ending in “-ko”, though there was a fair share of Ronas, Runas, and Soras.

    My opinion, from a few years back, is that a Japanese name is simply a name that Japanese can easily pronounce. As M-Bone mentioned, though, what at first may sound like a great name must be given the pornstar Google test.

  51. “As M-Bone mentioned, though, what at first may sound like a great name must be given the pornstar Google test.”

    The hard part is predicting what the pornstar names will be like 20 years later!

  52. Hello and thank you for starting this thread. I am in the midst of naturalization in Japan. In fact I am going to the MOJ next week to bring in the final paper work. It has been a jet coaster ride since the beginning. Initially I went to consult with the MOJ last year in September. 9 months later I have finally managed to get all the paper work together. I don’t know if everyone has the same experience or not but I have been to see them at least 10 times and each time I went they required some other document or other even things that were not mine to have and give away. They insisted that they wanted to keep my marriage certificate and my parent’s marriage certificate as well. I pointed out that my parents would never approve of that. It wasn’t after much discussion that I was told to contact my country and find out if they would issue a new marriage certiciate for me and my parents. Of course the answer I was given was that they can’t simply print off new certificates unlike in Japan where we can pay to get new documents. I had to write every detail of my conversation with the officer from my country including names, telpehone numbers, dates and times as they said they would check up on it. I really don’t mean to whine but it has been a long 9 months. I don’t know if it was just my case worker or if everyone goes through the same kind of experience. I surely don’t expect them to be my best friend but it would have been nice if they were a little more cordial. My Japanese friends tell me this is the system and that’s how they weed people out.

  53. I’m a bit surprised to hear that you couldn’t get more marriage certificates – I have like 17 of those things. Can I ask where you are from?

  54. Capiana, are you doing all the paper work on your own? A registered member of a 行政書士会 can make things much easier. I went to the local MOJ office once for the initial application, once to submit documents, all of which were in order on the first try thanks to the 行政書士, and once for an interview. (My wife and I were interviewed separately.) Then it was just a matter of waiting for the MOJ to approve it, which took two or three months.

  55. Wataru, it sounds like things went smoothly for you. That’s fantastic. I did all the paper work on my own. I didn’t get any help. I figured I could manage. Many of the documents they asked for were not on the list they gave me initially. Every time I brought in documents they asked for the time before I was asked for something else. Most recently, they wanted proof of my deceased father’s citizenship. Lucky for me my mother still had his passport. They also asked for copies of her passport as well. This is not on the list of requirements I was given at the beginning.
    M-Bone my father is from a southeast asian country and my mother is from europe. It’s taken for granted in my country that we can’t obtain multiple copies of marriages certificates, death certificates etc. The MOJ told me to ask why they were unable to issue new copies of certs I was told ‘That’s just how it is’ which wasn’t taken very well by the MOJ.
    I am really sorry to be venting here because I realize that that is what I am doing. I am now going to keep my fingers crossed and hope all my forms are in order for next week. Thanks for listening.

  56. I’m guessing that given your ethnicity, MOJ doesn’t have a previous example to go by. From my limited experience, I’ve gotten the impression that city halls and government bureaus eschew first-time cases. The prudent woodworker measures twice and cuts once. Government offices tend to measure 15 times before even picking up the saw.

    I wish you all the best with the next steps.

  57. “I am now going to keep my fingers crossed and hope all my forms are in order for next week.”

    Good luck and please let us know how it goes.

  58. Thank you for your M-Bone for your encouragement. I will surely write a quick update here as soon as I can. Peter, I get that impression as well. Thanks for answering and sharing your opinion. It certainly helps me feel less stressed about the whole thing. By the way my name is Caspiana and not Capiana. I did a typo before.

  59. @Caspiana – a bit of advice (from someone else slowly working through the system): for anything you cannot get, get an official statement from whoever is not going to provide what the MOJ wants that they cannot provide it. They don’t like your word that “I can’t get this” or “that paperwork does not exist”, but if you get something from your current country of citizenship that “We do not issue such a form” or “No such form/paperwork exists”, signed and sealed then the MOJ just gives up and moves on.

    And never forget – bureaucrats everywhere are idiots. We had to deal with a flaming moron who could not understand why the city records showing payment of my residence taxes, prepared in early spring, showed an unpaid balance when the final balance was not due until summer (and I pay through payroll deduction, so the city gets a lump from my company every month). Neither myself nor my wife were able to get Tweedle-Dee the Wonder Dummy to understand that “not paid in full” does NOT equal “delinquent” when you are paying on an installment plan. It was as if she had never heard of the most common method for salaried employees to pay their residence tax. Finally her boss apparently explained it to her, because it was OK in the end, but geez…

  60. Hi LB. Thanks for the advice. So far I am just doing everything and anything the MOJ has asked me to do. Today my paperwork is 98% finished. Just a few pieces to put together and everything is ready. I’ve gotten to know the people at my local conbini really well, I am in there photocopying so much! I bet they wonder what on earth I am up to. They’ve seen me photocopying bank statements, passports from at least 2 different countries now 🙂

    At least my case worker at the MOJ wasn’t quite as silly as the one you had. That is quite shocking really. I hope things go smoothly for you. Do keep us updated.

  61. Hello. Update: Submitted all documents today finally. Big relief. They told me they will schedule an interview with me and my husband in about two months time. Is this the norm? Feedback much obliged.

  62. Yes — keep in mind that the general time for approval naturalization from the time of application is up to a year.

  63. I have submitted all document for naturalization, after one month they took interview . Two and half month is already past after the interview. How long its take after the interview for final result for naturalization? anyone can answer me?

  64. I had my interview July 6 and got the final result around three months later. When I had the interview, I was told 「書類がしっかり揃っていて、日本も長いので、細かい調査を省略するつもり」. If they had done a more detailed investigation, it likely would have taken much longer. I remember checking the Kanpo on the Web every day until I finally spotted my name.

  65. Wataru, can I ask what the interview is like? I know if married, spouses are interviewed seperately. I wonder why this is so? What sort of questions do they ask? I did ask if I needed to prepare anything for the interview but they said no. Thanks Curzon for your feedback.

  66. Wataru thanks for reply. Can you kindly teach me how to check in kampo about every day naturalization result>? i can go to web site but i dont know which sub section is about naturalization result. even in japanese it is ok.

  67. Caspiana ,

    You do not need to prepare anything. Most probably they will ask your parents birth day also how many bother and sister. When u get married, if u have any confusion between you and your wife/husband try to explain clear it before you go to interview. If you speak normal japanese , i hope everything will be fine. Please don not worry about it. as i mentioned above , thats all they asked me.

  68. To find your name in the Kanpou, click on the 本紙 for each day on the left of the page. Then open 日本国に帰化を許可する件 and look at the end for the list of names.

  69. I don’t know why they interview spouses separately, but it’s probably to see if the husband and wife are on the same page regarding the intent to naturalize. The interview itself is not difficult at all; I was just asked why I wanted to naturalize and a few other basic questions about myself. I think they mainly want to know how good your Japanese is and if you are sincere.

  70. Thanks Jack and Wataru for taking the time to answer. I had no idea what to expect for the interview bit so now I feel a bit relieved. It doesn’t sound too daunting. How long did it take? I am wondering if i’ll need to take a whole day off work.

  71. Capiana it will take maximum 1 hour , in my case it was 15 minute for me and 10 minutes for my wife.

  72. A few other things to do/know when naturalizing. (1) Get a 実印 made with your new name as soon as it has been decided. You will need to register this and use it the first time you go to the local city or ward office to turn in your gaijin card and register as a citizen.
    (2) Get your new Japanese passport as soon as possible.
    (3) In Tokyo, at least, there is no naturalization ceremony. When you go in to the 法務局 after they call and inform you of the decision, someone simply hands you a piece of paper. But this is a very important piece of paper, which you will need to show to the local office when registering.
    (4) There are two ways to dissolve dual citizenship, but the easiest way is to first choose Japanese citizenship at your local office, then take the form to your former country’s embassy (with a translation). Going to the embassy first and then your local office is much more complicated.

  73. I don’t think you have to do anything at the local office to dissolve dual citizenship. You just have to fill out the other country’s forms and you’re done. (Of course, certain countries don’t have any legal provisions for citizens to de-naturalize themselves, which opens up another can of academic questions.)

  74. Joe, there is a procedure, which I did at the local ward office, which is supposed to be taken by any dual nationals when they reach adulthood or after naturalizing. You can do this either before or after renouncing your former citizenship at the embassy. It’s a simple statement saying that you choose to be a national of one country and give up claims to the other. There were posters about this requirement on the walls of the ward office.

  75. i think wataru is right, i heard it from other source to. lets hope to be naturalized first. Thanks Wataru and Joe

  76. Yeah, I know there’s a procedure that Japan wants you to do. All I’m saying is that it has nothing to do with losing your other citizenship; you can lose your other citizenship without telling Japan about it at all. The ward office visit and “declaration of choice” just keeps them from launching inquiries into the validity of your Japanese citizenship.

  77. Joe , I am agree with u to, Joe, how long did it take for you after interview to get naturalized?

  78. Joe isn’t a Japanese citizen, and since he just got married earlier this year will have to wait a while before he is even eligible to apply, if he ever decides to.

  79. I’ll be eligible in 2013 (on the same day I become eligible for PR), but I don’t want to give up my other passports until I am done having kids.

  80. I assume you will get PR though, right? Going from two passports and PR in a third country to merely having a single passport doesn’t sound like a very good trade to me. You’d need a very, very good reason to give up to freedom to live and work in the US and EU at any time.

  81. Well, I’ll make that decision in three years. By then, foreign nationals should have juminhyo and automatic re-entry rights, which will eliminate many of the technical advantages of citizenship. At that point the decision will probably depend on how politically active I plan to be.

  82. Wataru thanks so much for that. I was wondering about the dissolving of citizenship and your comment has helped so much. Now, i’m just waiting for the interview to come round then we’ll see what happens.

  83. I was just wondering if the homukyoku will call my family for any reason. They require all their contact information and I wonder what they do with it. I have visions of my case worker at the homukyoku trying to have a conversation with my mum!

  84. they might check that the document u provided is trueth or false like how many bother and sister u have etc . Mostly they verify your document by crosschecking

  85. I’ve just been called for an interview. Exactly a month to the day I submitted my documents.

  86. Hello. This particular blog entry actually inspired me to start a blog with a team of people about this topic:

    If you are naturalized (or have started the process of naturalizing), I welcome you to contact me to become an author on the blog to share your experience and/or experiences.

  87. Wow, I had no idea that blog was by someone we know! It seems to be shaping up to be an excellent resource already!

  88. I think this blog is good enough to help each other in the process of naturalization. Then why do we need to open or join another blog?

  89. Well, none of the Mutantfrog writers are actually going through the process (although it’s possible that say, Curzon or Joe might someday), and sometimes all the book learning in the world is no substitute for hands-on experience.

  90. I just had my interview yesterday. Mine took 40 minutes my husband’s 20. It went well though some of the questions were slightly intrusive. The fact that I won’t be changing to a name in Kanji bothered them no end but my husband was told my chances were high which is promising I guess. They didn’t ask to visit our home which surprised me a little on the other hand I was grateful. Now I begin the waiting process…

  91. Ack, they ask questions like that? I was just thinking what name I would take if I were ever to naturalize. I’d really prefer to just keep my romaji name – it’s already my official name on documents

  92. You have to have a legal name in Japanese script, but I’m pretty sure it can be in katakana. I heard of some Japan-born Korean professor who naturalized, but then changed his legal name from kanji to katakana because he didn’t want everyone to just assume it should be read in the Japanese style just because he had become a citizen, but it may be apocryphal.

  93. They asked my husband ‘What if your children get married and the new in-laws want to know why your wife has a name in katakana?’ My husband replied ‘Well, hopefully when our children marry they will only do so if their husband to be knows all about our family including the fact that my wife is a naturalized citizen. We have no intention of hiding this from anyone.’ Well..that kind of put an end to that conversation. My name is something my parents gave me and well i’m happy with it. Plus i’m known professionally by it.

  94. It will be ‘ 7 months tomorrow, when I submitted my application. still Haven`t heared from them yet. well I hope it goes on well though. wish me good-luck !

  95. It will be 7 month tomorrow for me , we all hope that we will have good news soon. Best of luck for Zeebra and Caspiana

  96. I have some GOOD NEWS here my fellow friends !….. I couldnt believe my eyes when i saw my name on the KAPNPOU of yesterday ! I`ve been approved. it took 8 and a half months when I submitted my application . well I wish Jack and Caspiana too the best of Luck ! I will update again.

  97. How are you all? I got result from HOMUMKYOUKU. I am a Japanese citizen now. Its took 9 and half month. Good luck to Caspiana. Thank you all for kind information and support.

  98. Congratulations Jack :)) I am so happy for you. I am still waiting but not stressing about it so, I guess I am good. That is really good news. 本当に良かった。

  99. Congratulations, welcome to the club!

    Please have a look at the website If there’s anything there you notice that needs adding, fixing, changing, or you just want to add your experiences (you can be an author and write whenever and as little or as much as you like), please let me know!

  100. you`ve made my christmas Jack ! おめでとう~ Yeah Caspiana, you dont need to stress yourself now. you will be approved soon. Once again おめでとう Jack.

  101. Hi Zee :)) Just a quick question for you and Jack. Once you get approved what is the procedure? Would I need to bring/write/submit anything else? Thanks and Happy Holidays.

  102. Caspiana , once you will approved someone will call you from HOMUNKYOUKU and they will tell you to bring your Gaikokujin torokuso. When you will go to HOMUNKYOUKU they will tell you check your name and date of birth as it is right or wrong. Once you finish checking , they will take you to another room and some one boss will hand over you KIKA paper. And also they will give you some sample paper that you have to write and submit to city office. In city office they will give you jyouminhou at same day, but you have to wait 2-3 days for KOSEKI TOHON, which you need to make Japanese passport. With jyouminho you can change your foreigner status to Japanese behind the MENKYOUSO. Dont worry Caspiana its really easy process. I hope and pray that you will be approved soon.

  103. Yeah Caspiana, it’s exactly as Jack said. Just that mine was a bit different . On my part my tantou called and I went in to do the checking on my name and other stuffs. It took less than 20mnts. Onething important is to make a whole day available when going to the city hall.hope we hear some good news from you very soon. All the best and happy new year to you all . Hey Jack , now that we’ve become Japanese what next ? Lol !

  104. Hi folks! Just wanted to say how grateful I am to those responsible for creating and updating this blog, it’s been incredibly insightful!

    Currently, I am under consideration for Permanent Residency (I applied at the end of August last year so it’s been almost 5 months by this point) and if I’m lucky enough to be granted it, I would very much like to get the ball rolling in terms of naturalization.
    I’ve been here in Japan continuously for 5 years and have been married to my Japanese spouse for 6 years now. I have always intended on taking Japanese citizenship in the future (I’m currently British) and so I was just wondering if there was anything specific I needed to take with me when I make that first daunting visit to the Houmukyoku?

    Many thanks in advance!

  105. It’s not daunting and you don’t really need to take along anything on your first visit, which is explanatory. If you scroll way up to the early comments you should find mention of a Web site dedicated to citizenship issues.

  106. Hello people. I just saw my name on the kanpo website. I still can’t believe it. The homukyoku has not called me yet. I guess I need to wait for them to call don’t I? Thanks to all of you for making things easier to understand and more than that listening to my ranting and raving. Scrolling up I can see at times I was pretty stressed but you were all so supportive and kind. I salute you now. 本当にありがとう。

  107. おめでとうううううううううううううううううう Caspiana. yeah you have to wait for the Homukyoku to call and notify you. That should be in less than Two weeks from the date of publication. And I think you dont need to take along anything when going to the Homukyoku, well in my case I wasnt asked to, so I think it might be the same.

    NOTE : Make sure a whole day is available when going to submit your KOSEKI TOHON and also return your ARC at the City Office. it sure takes time. Once again おめでとうございます.

  108. Hello Brendan, welcome to the club. I think you dont need to wait for your PR to be approved before going for the citizenship. You can start at anytime considering your status. In my case, I applied for my PR and started my Citizenship process the next day. My PR got approved 10 months later, whiles my Citizenship was under consideration. The citizenship took just 8 and a half months to be approved. NOTE: you will only need to notify HOMUKYOKU when your PR gets approved and also send a copy of your passport indicating where your approved PR stamp is. After all this is settled, just cross your fingers and wait for your approval. Wishing you all the best of luck.

  109. @zeeebra

    “In my case, I applied for my PR and started my Citizenship process the next day. My PR got approved 10 months later, whiles my Citizenship was under consideration. The citizenship took just 8 and a half months to be approved.”

    If you started the Citizenship process the next day after applying for PR,
    and the Citizenship process took just 8 and a half months to be approved,
    and the PR process took 10 months to be approved, something is incorrect?

  110. NO ! the reason was that it took a lot of time to gather all the necessary documents from my home country. getting my parents Marriage Certificates and my brothers and sisters Birth Certificates etc… was Hell. At first all the documents were arranged and sent by EMS with a tracking number , but till this time that mail never reached me, so I have to start it all over again… and that alone took all most 2 months for the new documents to get to me here. After receiving it , I found a mistake with one of my sisters birth Cert. So i had to send it back to my home country to be corrected and to be sent to me here again. so those back and forth thing took most of the time. thats why the dates came out like that.

    So if you are going in for the Citezenship, Note that gathering the documents from your home country is the difficult part of it all. I hope I answered your question John , anyway let me know if I have left something out .And to everyone out there ASK AND YOU WILL BE ANSWERED . Have nice weekend Peace !

  111. Thanks Zeee. I am indeed happy.

    Hi John. As Zeee said the paper chase was probably the hardest thing. I got one thing and was told ‘Oh and by the way you’ll be needing this as well’ so off i’d go again. A few times whilst waiting for documents and getting them translated the papers I picked up from the Japan side became out of date (there is a 3 month limit after than things like the jyuminhyo or nozeishomeisho become invalid and you have to get them again). This forum really hlped me through the tough times. I wish you luck :))

  112. Wow I wasn’t expecting such a quick reply, thank you!!

    Thanks for helping me put my nerves to rest with regards to making my first visit to the Homukyoku, Wataru!
    I did look back over the entire thread but I’m not sure that I can see the specific link you mentioned… Not to worry too much though as my first step probably won’t be taken for a couple of months yet (I’ve still yet to explain to my parents that I no longer wish to be British…)
    At least I now know that my first visit is just that, a visit and a meeting with somebody that will hopefully be kind to me!
    On a side note, I’d also like to keep a record of my progress on this thread too in the hope that my (hopefully successful) naturalization will also be a useful source of reference for future hopefuls that find their way here too.

    Lastly, CONGRATULATIONS to everyone here that has attained Japanese Citizenship! I sincerely hope that I can one day join you and become a fellow countryman to all of you!!

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