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

pezzie

Member
Oct 27, 2017
945
People talking about her being an alien in the US after renouncing her citizenship are right, but in the end she's going to be a very wealthy celebrity. She'll easily be able to live wherever she wants. She chose the option that would get her paid the most, and that is definitely the smart thing to do.
 

shounenka

Member
Nov 22, 2017
116
Yokohama
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.
Yes, I went through the process personally about 15 years ago. About what you read on Reddit, I think it's a question of where your main domicile is and what passport you use to get in and out of the country. Certainly Japan cannot force anyone to give up citizenship of another country, but if the government finds out that you have "retained" another citizenship, they can revoke your Japanese one under the law, though I'm not sure if they actually do in practice. Personally, I don't feel it's a risk worth taking, either as someone born with Japanese citizenship or someone who obtained it through naturalization (I fall in the latter category).
 

mrmoose

Member
Nov 13, 2017
7,319
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.
I know you have a ton more experience with this than I do, but on some level I'm not sure it makes that much of a difference. If the Japanese are "what have you done for me lately" the US are even more so. And there is sadly a large segment of the population that will not "accept" her in the US as well no matter what. If she wants to come back to the US at any point after she retires I can't imagine she'd have any kind of problem (and if she does, it'll probably be because the US is not really a great place to come back to anyway, but let's hope for the best)

Now I'm curious, I know Miyamoto was not accepted growing up in Japan but are they still shunning her after she won?
 

Zefah

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
6,798
Yes, I went through the process personally about 15 years ago. About what you read on Reddit, I think it's a question of where your main domicile is and what passport you use to get in and out of the country. Certainly Japan cannot force anyone to give up citizenship of another country, but if the government finds out that you have "retained" another citizenship, they can revoke your Japanese one under the law, though I'm not sure if they actually do in practice. Personally, I don't feel it's a risk worth taking, either as someone born with Japanese citizenship or someone who obtained it through naturalization (I fall in the latter category).
They cannot revoke your citizenship, but they can demand that you revoke your foreign citizenship and bring proof of that and refuse to renew your Japanese passport until you do. That actually happened to a friend of mine whose wife naturalized to the United States but kept her Japanese citizenship only to openly mention that she had dual citizenship at an embassy and fall into the situation described above.
 

shounenka

Member
Nov 22, 2017
116
Yokohama
They cannot revoke your citizenship, but they can demand that you revoke your foreign citizenship and bring proof of that and refuse to renew your Japanese passport until you do. That actually happened to a friend of mine whose wife naturalized to the United States but kept her Japanese citizenship only to openly mention that she had dual citizenship at an embassy and fall into the situation described above.
Interesting to hear an example of what kind of action the government actually takes. Either way, losing the ability to get my Japanese passport renewed is not a risk I would want to take.
 

Zefah

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
6,798
Now I'm curious, I know Miyamoto was not accepted growing up in Japan but are they still shunning her after she won?
Plenty of people accept her, but since she doesn't fall in the threshold of what is typically accepted as a Japanese "look," people assume she's not Japanese at first glance for the most part.

There's definitely a big difference in acceptance between half-Japanese that "pass" for Japanese and those that don't.