The Tokyo District Court ruled on the 21st in a trial in which people who acquired foreign nationality and lost Japanese nationality complained that it is unconstitutional to not allow dual citizenship under the provisions of Japanese nationality law. I will tell you.

This will be the first judicial decision regarding a provision that does not allow dual citizenship.

In Japan, the Nationality Law stipulates that if you acquire a foreign nationality at your own request, you will lose your Japanese nationality, and you are not allowed to have more than one nationality.

Six people who lived in Switzerland or Liechtenstein and lost their Japanese nationality after acquiring local nationality confirmed to the country that they have Japanese nationality, saying that it is unconstitutional to not allow dual citizenship. I have filed a request.

According to experts familiar with nationality law, more and more countries in the world recognize dual citizenship, with 150 of the 195 countries and territories, or about three-quarters, as of January last year.

At the trial, the national side said, "When dual citizenship becomes normal, there will be serious contradictions between nations and between nations and individuals, such as which country protects individuals and which country to pay taxes. The idea of ​​preventing nationality is rational. "

This is the first time that a provision that does not allow dual citizenship is unconstitutional or disputed.

The judgment will be handed down at the Tokyo District Court after 1:00 pm on the 21st.

Plaintiffs Leader Expected to have active discussions on dual citizenship

Mr. Nogawa, who is the leader of the plaintiff, moved to Switzerland 52 years ago and ran a trading company, but 20 years ago, he changed his nationality to Switzerland because there was a bid that only the owner of the company could participate. I got it.

At that time, I didn't know the nationality law that if I acquired a foreign nationality at my own request, I would lose Japanese nationality, and when I visited the Japanese embassy in Switzerland to renew my Japanese passport, I learned about it.

In an interview with NHK before the decision on the 21st, Mr. Nogawa said, "When I saw an invalid Japanese passport with a hole, I felt like I was torn. I never abandoned my Japanese nationality. Not. "

After that, he complained that "the nationality law is based on the law made in the Meiji era and must be reviewed immediately. Many Japanese living overseas are struggling with this law," and triggered this trial. He expressed his hope that discussions on dual nationality would become more active.

Those who have no choice but to choose a foreign nationality to care for their parents

Some Japanese living abroad have no choice but to choose a foreign nationality due to family circumstances.

Reed Masumi, 64, who lives in Tokyo, married an American, obtained permanent residence, lived in Texas for over 25 years, and worked as a high school teacher.

However, I had to stay in Japan for a long time to care for my mother who lives in Japan.

However, in order not to lose permanent residence, I have to return to the United States at least twice a year, and in order to balance American life and long-term care in Japan, 13 years ago, American nationality who can stay in Japan for a long time I got.

Reed then continued to care for her mother, who died last November.

"I chose to return home to care for my elderly mother without losing the foundation of my life in the United States," Reed said, adding that he had no other choice.

Mr. Reed understood that he would lose Japanese nationality if he chose American nationality, but he saw his name on the residence card, which was in Roman letters instead of Kanji, and applied for permanent residence in Japan. It is said that when he was not recognized, he was made aware that he had become a foreigner.

Mr. Reed said, "It's like being told,'You're not in Japan anymore.' At that time, I felt I was a foreigner. We just chose foreign nationality and never Japanese nationality. I haven't abandoned it. I strongly hope that dual citizenship will be recognized through the trial. "

Expert "The number of people who are active overseas is increasing. This trial is very important."

Professor Makoto Sugawara of Nanzan University, who specializes in the constitution and is familiar with nationality law and citizenship, commented on the background of the increasing number of countries that recognize dual citizenship worldwide. The need to take multiple nationalities has increased, and more and more children have multiple nationalities. In many countries, it has become more beneficial for individuals and society to accept multiple nationalities, and the 1980s and 2000s. It has changed in the direction of being recognized. "

Regarding the reason why Japan does not recognize dual citizenship, Professor Sugawara said, "The idea that there should be one nationality, which has been the idea of ​​international law, is still dominant. How to recognize diversity. In the case of Japan, it may be late. "

He added, "The only principle of nationality is certainly ideal, but the number of people who are active overseas, such as Nobel Prize-winning scholars and athletes, is increasing. This trial is very important."