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Naomi Osaka giving up U.S. citizenship to play for Japan at 2020 Olympics

guru-guru

Member
Oct 25, 2017
521
Canada
Yeah which is why I'm not too confident she made the right decision. She's not going to be regarded as positive in Japan as she might hope.
Except she is. Do you live in Japan or speak Japanese? Naomi Osaka is arguably the most popular female athlete currently in Japan. She's universally loved there, attracts huge audiences to events and tourneys when in Japan, and dominates the news whenever she's playing a match. When she has faced racism in Japan, such as with the two aforementioned comedians, everyone rallies around her. In this case, the talent agency and broadcaster of those two comedians faced swift backlash, with thousands of phone calls demanding that the comedians apologize, be taken off the air, etc. Likewise, Osaka received a ton of supportive messages from Japanese fans on Twitter, Instagram, etc. Finally, when she chose Japanese citizenship today, social media and news websites are full of comments from happy Japanese fans that can't wait to see her at the Tokyo Olympics representing Japan.

Obviously, she'll likely face more racist or tone-deaf statements from idiots like those comedians, but they represent a small minority; the majority of fans are very accepting of her.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,608
Being half black and taking Japanese citizenship seems like a bad long term decision for her mental health. Although I guess we have racism issues too.
That's a pretty smug opinion given that bullets are even worse.

My kids will be dual citizens for life. It ain't going to be either parent country's business.
 

DrewFu

Member
Apr 19, 2018
6,339
So does she have to leave the US? Or does the US still recognize her as a US citizen?
 
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Oct 25, 2017
1,608
She can speak a little Japanese and understand more. And she's learning.

The reality is she is an American, but one of Japanese (and Haitian) descent and she wasn't getting her opportunities under her America citizenship.

It's impressive that she decided to stick with Japanese, now that she is successful she could play as an American and get those opportunities she had previously missed, Ireland's recently had an English born player (of Irish parents) play on the national football team and decide to transition to England later and piss off everyone in the country.

And Osaka-san is loved by Japan, from businssemen to housewives I've spoken to countless who love her and none, at least to this Gaijin, questioned her Japanese-ness or her skill.

Her face is all over Japan.
 

effingvic

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,407
I hope she made the right decision. I'm sure she'll have more experiences like that comedy racism going forward.
 

DarthSpider

The Fallen
Nov 15, 2017
685
She speaks and understands Japanese but she has stated she isnt confident with speaking it all the time.
Her Japanese is pretty bad. She seems to understand the questions being thrown at her, but her responses are JPN101 level stuff. Not crapping on her decision, but she's got a long way to go with the language.
 
Jan 9, 2018
361
Not being able to have dual citizenship in Japan is a bummer, but I think she took the right decision, she is very popular in Japan and I mean, to everyone saying here that the racism is pretty bad in Japan, did they even stop to ponder that the other option was USA? Come on!
 

Sunster

The Fallen
Oct 5, 2018
2,996
Whoa. Well this moment in time is probably as good a time as ever to do something like this.
 

Jon Carter

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,443
Why does Japan have a rule like that? Is it a xenophobia thing? I always thought if you are a duel citizen its no biggy.
I get the impression the Japanese are very proud of how safe their country is and any relaxing of immigration laws is seen as a threat to that.

I was discussing the issue of my son eventually having to give up his Japanese or American and French citizenships with a friend of my wife's, expressing hope that the law would change by the time he's 22, and she said it would be good but she's worried changing immigration laws too much would make the country less safe.

Obviously it's not sustainable long term for the country as a whole, but from the point of view of your average Japanese person, they probably figure if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 

Forkball

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,918
Yeah which is why I'm not too confident she made the right decision. She's not going to be regarded as positive in Japan as she might hope.
Is that why I see her literally every day in advertisements here in Japan?

I highly suggest anyone interested in Osaka to read the feature article NY Times did about her. Gives a lot of insight on her career and why she decided to embrace her Japanese side.
 

DarthSpider

The Fallen
Nov 15, 2017
685
This is a very interesting story. I'm American, living in Japan with a Japanese spouse, and we have a 4-year-old boy who is currently a dual citizen. I always thought the age to decide was 20, but I guess it's actually 22. Either way, I'm really hoping that by the time my son is that age, Japan will have come around on the "no dual citizenship" policy. But who knows what the state of the world will be like at that time. Maybe that'll be the last thing on our minds. Maybe this is naive, but in cases like Naomi's, or my son's, when they give up their US citizenship, are they granted any other kind of US status? Like special permanent residency or something like that? Or are they stripped of literally everything? When visiting the states, they'd have to apply for ESTA and do all that stuff?

With Naomi, yes she is very popular. But I think it's important to make the distinction that she is very popular *right now*. What about when her tennis career is over? Also, being loved or being popular has nothing to do with being accepted as a Japanese person. People will be happy about this news, because it means potential medals for Japan in the Olympics. But if you ask people if Naomi is Japanese, many people will say no. Look no further than Ariana Miyamoto for evidence of that. There is an element in Japanese society and pop culture of welcoming and celebrating the foreigners who bring glory to Japan, ala the foreign athletes on the various national teams and pro sports teams. They talk about how great Japan is, bring awareness to their respective games, and help Japan win on an international stage. But God forbid a foreign ball player in Japan come close to breaking a Japanese player's record. Whenever a foreign baseball player comes close to breaking Sadaharu Oh's HR record, they'll be intentionally walked to make sure the Japanese player's record is preserved. This kinda shit happens a lot in Japan. The foreign players are a curiosity, a novelty, and a means to an end, but they are not Japanese or equal to Japanese in the eyes of many Japanese people.

I guess my point is just that, for Naomi, it's not going to be as easy as some people seem to be suggesting. She's popular now, but if Naomi is putting any stock in the idea of her being truly accepted as a Japanese person, she's gonna be in for a rude awakening. I'm sure she already knows this, though.
 
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Jun 17, 2019
130
On the one hand it's good on her giving positive representation to the mixed kids in Japan, on the other hand Japan can be very "What have you done for me lately". So long as she wins she's going to be well liked, but when she doesn't then some people will go back to calling her American. Something that's happened to other Japanese that were not full blooded. Hell they were talking about it in the comments of Japan today under the article about the female comic duo.

Edit: As DarthSpider said theres still a lot of "Othering" in Japan. God forbid right now she go against a South Korean player and lose. I'm more worried that the LDP will use her for their own means. Abe's not beyond using g people to distract From his terrible administration.
 
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Inuhanyou

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,286
New Jersey
the popularity hysteria of japan having a "global superstar" got to her. of course after what happened i'd be pretty mad too

But if she starts losing, she'll be a nobody of Japan again and they'll probably treat her even worse. that's how foreigners who arent celebrity status are treated. They arent looking at her as a Japanese, they are looking at her as a global face who can make japan look good until she
doesnt.

That's the downside of living in a society that only cares about conforming and subservience to the status quo of things. As other people have noted of course, America isnt anywhere near clean on this either. She only came into the media's eye because she was challenging someone already popular, not because of her own merits or talent, and that's shitty.
 
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twentytwo22

Member
Oct 25, 2017
537
Interesting. Although Japan does have a law saying you need to choose a single citizenship by age 22, it has literally never been enforced in modern times and seems to be a "if you don't say anything, nobody will know better" kind of situation.

But for a famous person like Naomi, obviously it can't be ignored.
 

Thorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,729
Not having an American Citizenship doesn't seem like the worst thing in the world right now.
 

Zefah

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
6,798
Look no further than Ariana Miyamoto for evidence of that. There is an element in Japanese society and pop culture of welcoming and celebrating the foreigners who bring glory to Japan, ala the foreign athletes on the various national teams and pro sports teams. They talk about how great Japan is, bring awareness to their respective games, and help Japan win on an international stage. But God forbid a foreign ball player in Japan come close to breaking a Japanese player's record. Whenever a foreign baseball player comes close to breaking Sadaharu Oh's HR record, they'll be intentionally walked to make sure the Japanese player's record is preserved. This kinda shit happens a lot in Japan. The foreign players are a curiosity, a novelty, and a means to an end, but they are not Japanese or equal to Japanese in the eyes of many Japanese people.
What an example to use... Did you know that Sadaharu Oh is a Japanese-born & raised Taiwanese citizen with a Taiwanese (Chinese) father?
 

squeakywheel

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,044
Good for her. They have been targetting this for quite some time. Even rejected the US tennis system when they finally caught wind of her talent when she was 14-15.
She can understand Japanese just fine. She can speak as well but not confident like her older sister. She is quite shy so theres that too. She will also make bank there vs the US since tennis is so far down the totem pole in terms of viewership and participation in the US of A.
 

zeroshiki

Member
Oct 26, 2017
68
This is a very interesting story. I'm American, living in Japan with a Japanese spouse, and we have a 4-year-old boy who is currently a dual citizen. I always thought the age to decide was 20, but I guess it's actually 22. Either way, I'm really hoping that by the time my son is that age, Japan will have come around on the "no dual citizenship" policy. But who knows what the state of the world will be like at that time. Maybe that'll be the last thing on our minds. Maybe this is naive, but in cases like Naomi's, or my son's, when they give up their US citizenship, are they granted any other kind of US status? Like special permanent residency or something like that? Or are they stripped of literally everything? When visiting the states, they'd have to apply for ESTA and do all that stuff?

With Naomi, yes she is very popular. But I think it's important to make the distinction that she is very popular *right now*. What about when her tennis career is over? Also, being loved or being popular has nothing to do with being accepted as a Japanese person. People will be happy about this news, because it means potential medals for Japan in the Olympics. But if you ask people if Naomi is Japanese, many people will say no. Look no further than Ariana Miyamoto for evidence of that. There is an element in Japanese society and pop culture of welcoming and celebrating the foreigners who bring glory to Japan, ala the foreign athletes on the various national teams and pro sports teams. They talk about how great Japan is, bring awareness to their respective games, and help Japan win on an international stage. But God forbid a foreign ball player in Japan come close to breaking a Japanese player's record. Whenever a foreign baseball player comes close to breaking Sadaharu Oh's HR record, they'll be intentionally walked to make sure the Japanese player's record is preserved. This kinda shit happens a lot in Japan. The foreign players are a curiosity, a novelty, and a means to an end, but they are not Japanese or equal to Japanese in the eyes of many Japanese people.

I guess my point is just that, for Naomi, it's not going to be as easy as some people seem to be suggesting. She's popular now, but if Naomi is putting any stock in the idea of her being truly accepted as a Japanese person, she's gonna be in for a rude awakening. I'm sure she already knows this, though.
Wilmer Balentein broke Oh's record a few years ago. Foreign baseball players are well loved in Japan. Look at how much love Randy Messenger got when he announced his retirement. Randy Bass is still one of the most beloved Hanshin Tigers players ever. Every time he comes back to Japan, the news makes a big deal out of it and people come out to see him.

Japan is so mono cultural that its rough for clearly foreign people to live in but its not the racist dystopia some people try to portray it as.

Also, I am pretty sure a foreign born player DID beat his record (or at least one of the big ones) a few years ago.

I don't follow baseball that closely, but I remember it on the news as Oh is a legend.
One thing people neglect to mention about the Tuffy Rhodes homerun thing was the team that was intentionally walking him all the time was the team managed by Sadaharu Oh himself.
 

mAcOdIn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
570
Well, lets be honest here, she probably made the only bet that still kept both countries as options in the future.

In the end I don't really see a scenario where she isn't allowed to stay in the US if she wants, she could be granted residency, marry another American and get residency that way, realistically, it's not like we'd turn her away at the airport if she came back, she just isn't going to be a citizen anymore. Basically she just gave up her right to vote and I guess Social Security.
 

Qvoth

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,386
very surprised she's picking japanese citizenship over US
she doesn't even speak japanese right?
does she not have enough confidence to think she won't get picked by US national team?
 

Lishi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
368
very surprised she's picking japanese citizenship over US
she doesn't even speak japanese right?
does she not have enough confidence to think she won't get picked by US national team?
Well, it's actually a pretty good financial choice if she plans to take residence somewhere else.
Her earning will put her definitively above the exemption to avoid double taxation.
 

rAndom

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,910
To those who said renouncing her US citizenship was a bad idea, let's remind ourselves this:

 

GaimeGuy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,469
As far as Japanese law is concerned, she will be a Japanese citizen.

As far as US law is concerned, she will still be a dual citizen.
 

Pandora012

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,747
Honestly, i hope this goes really well for her. That her fame and popularity is enough to shield her from some of the racism in Japan.

well the american fans booed her anyway
Was it her, or the umpire that they were pissed at? Her win was overshadowed by drama on the court.

To those who said renouncing her US citizenship was a bad idea, let's remind ourselves this:

They weren't booing her. Like i said above, that reaction from the beginning was due to drama between serena and that umpire who they believed was basically after her. Horrible that it had to happen like that, but it wasn't directed at naomi.

At the end of the day, i think the citizenship issue was a business decision more than anything. A pretty smart one too.
 
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squall23

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,269
She can speak a little Japanese and understand more. And she's learning.

The reality is she is an American, but one of Japanese (and Haitian) descent and she wasn't getting her opportunities under her America citizenship.

It's impressive that she decided to stick with Japanese, now that she is successful she could play as an American and get those opportunities she had previously missed, Ireland's recently had an English born player (of Irish parents) play on the national football team and decide to transition to England later and piss off everyone in the country.

And Osaka-san is loved by Japan, from businssemen to housewives I've spoken to countless who love her and none, at least to this Gaijin, questioned her Japanese-ness or her skill.

Her face is all over Japan.
This isn't new. Owen Hargreaves is a Canadian that played for England because his parents are British. The only difference was that nobody cared because it was Canada.
 

shounenka

Member
Nov 22, 2017
116
Yokohama
Why does Japan have a rule like that? Is it a xenophobia thing? I always thought if you are a duel citizen its no biggy.
Probably to keep special interest groups like 3rd/4th generation Koreans and Chinese who have been here all their lives, even use Japanese names for themselves but refuse to take citizenship from influencing Japanese politics from the inside.

US rules on overseas taxation and penalties on renunciation are absurd, Naomi will make bank and a career here with her adulating fan and sponsor base, and Japan was just rated the best passport to have in the world right now. Maybe it was more of a no-brainer than people would like to think.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,608
This isn't new. Owen Hargreaves is a Canadian that played for England because his parents are British. The only difference was that nobody cared because it was Canada.

Ahh but in this case Declan Rice actually played for the Irish team before he switched to the English one.


We have had many players of English or other extraction, the the Jack Charlton grandparent rule and many who had to decide who to play for Ireland, England or even a 3rd or 4th country (Clinton Morrison could have played for Jamaica)

But to actually play for the senior team (not just the youth teams, and then change which still leaves ba bad taste in the mouth) then switch country is pure mercenary behavior.

He's the only one I can think of that is actively disliked because of doing that.
 

shounenka

Member
Nov 22, 2017
116
Yokohama
when they give up their US citizenship, are they granted any other kind of US status? Like special permanent residency or something like that? Or are they stripped of literally everything? When visiting the states, they'd have to apply for ESTA and do all that stuff?
Answering as someone who has been through the process. You get no status whatsoever and are effectively a foreigner, through you might have an advantage applying for long-term visas in the future (Green Card included) if you have family members who are still citizens. You can only reclaim citizenship if you can convince the government that you gave it up under duress or coercion. Otherwise, you are back to square one like any other alien.

As someone already answered above, you need ESTA to visit the country if you have a Japanese passport. It is a painless process, however, not that expensive ($14 to process), and lasts for two years.

You are, however, "shamed" in the Federal Register if you renounce. Your name is literally published as someone who renounced US citizenship. For whose reference, I have no idea, but it definitely comes off as a kind of blacklist. So, you can look forward to seeing Naomi's name in this quarter's edition.
 

DarthSpider

The Fallen
Nov 15, 2017
685
Answering as someone who has been through the process. You get no status whatsoever and are effectively a foreigner, through you might have an advantage applying for long-term visas in the future (Green Card included) if you have family members who are still citizens. You can only reclaim citizenship if you can convince the government that you gave it up under duress or coercion. Otherwise, you are back to square one like any other alien.

As someone already answered above, you need ESTA to visit the country if you have a Japanese passport. It is a painless process, however, not that expensive ($14 to process), and lasts for two years.

You are, however, "shamed" in the Federal Register if you renounce. Your name is literally published as someone who renounced US citizenship. For whose reference, I have no idea, but it definitely comes off as a kind of blacklist. So, you can look forward to seeing Naomi's name in this quarter's edition.
Interesting, thank you. You went through the process personally? A lot of people over on Reddit are saying that you only need to renounce the US side while living in Japan, but that as far as the US is concerned, you could just keep renewing your US passport indefinitely with no consequence, and remain a dual citizen from the US side.

Naomi Osaka also just bought a 7 million dollar mansion from Joe Jonas in Beverly Hills, so I think itā€™s safe to assume she plans on residing in the US long term.