Washington International Law Journal


Mie Murazumi


Japan's Nationality Law has evolved into a law that tends to prevent or eliminate dual nationality. This characteristic conforms with the traditional view that every country should take steps to avoid situations of dual nationality. It also fits in with Japan's cultural homogeneity and long-developed sense of national loyalty. For over a century, the world viewed dual nationality as an evil to be avoided because of conflict of loyalty problems and difficulties with diplomatic protection. However, the postwar globalization process has produced a desire in many people to have dual nationality as a part of their global identity. Fewer conflicts among nations and more frequent international cooperation has lessened the significance of the problems traditionally associated with dual nationality. Many countries are now changing their laws to allow dual nationality, and the consensus on the undesirability of dual nationality is breaking down. Under such conditions, Japan's continued insistence on the "one person one nationality" principle will only serve to hinder overseas Japanese as they try to participate in the societies in which they live. It is therefore in Japan's interest to change its laws to allow Japanese nationals to hold dual nationality. This will allow overseas Japanese to fulfill their role as bridges between Japan and the world.

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