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Becoming legally Japanese
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If you are a native English speaker who happens to live here in Japan, I'd be very grateful for your participation in my survey. It's pretty short and most folks can complete it in under 5 minutes. The survey is completely anonymous and you can skip any questions you don't like.
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After the center-left won an election in Sweden some time ago, a conservative blowhard publicly and noisily applied for political asylum in Norway. They told him that he didn't need it since Swedes and Norwegians can freely move between the countries, and that he was welcome to migrate at any time. And suddenly we didn't hear another word from him about fleeing elsewhere.

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Have a look at this interesting interview with former American citizen Tina Turner, who completed all the steps for naturalization (including learning a bit of German) and talking about life as a Swiss national. While Japan does not have an explicit language requirement, being able to use the language is considered to be essential for the requirement of being able to survive financially in Japan.
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The House of Councillors (the Japan Diet's upper house) serve six year terms. Unlike the House of Representatives (the Japan Diet's lower house), which serve four year terms or until the Prime Minister dissolves it; whichever comes first. In parliamentary systems, the people do not directly elect the Prime Minister; the MPs do. This year, the citizens of Japan will vote for one half of the Councillors. Unlike America, elections are not usually a statistically strong motivator for naturalization. More info here: http://www.turning-japanese.info/2013/08/voting-in-japanese-public-elections.html
Mr. Trump’s harsh language against Mexican immigrants has compelled legal residents to seek citizenship in time to vote against him in November.
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I wrote this really quickly just because I wanted to have a post with a leap year day on it; I didn't want my once-in-four-year chance to "expire". ☻
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Removed Brazil from the list of "countries where it is difficult to renounce"; Brazil embassy web pages make it clear that it costs US$15 and can be done after proving that one has another nationality or is in the process of renouncing. http://saofrancisco.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/brazilian_citizenship.xml#renouncing
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Naturalized Japanese national C.W. Nichols in the news with the Emperor and Empress. Nichols, in addition to writing occasionally for the Japan Times as this article mentions, has authored many books (in Japanese), often poetry, and was a fixture in 1980's television. So much so that he's probably the first naturalized Japanese person that many people of that generation became aware of. 
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Monday paid a visit to woodland restored by British-born writer and environmentalist C.W. Nicol in Nagano Prefecture
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I've recently been reading a lot about some people's immigration strategies, and am often shocked at how little they feel they need to assimilate and learn the language. I respectfully disagree.
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It's a bit of an aside, but it's worth remembering that "foreigners in Japan" is anything but a homogeneous group, and they have very different experiences and very different resources at hand.

Some of the most common foreign groups coming to Japan are Chinese, Korean and Philippine. They will rely mostly or only on sources written by members of their own ethnic group, and will mostly or only interact with others like themselves.

Arguably even many Westerners will not primarily rely on English sources. After all, the information on taxation, driving licenses, retirement funds, visas and so on differ greatly by country. Even members of very small minority groups such as myself (Swedish) rely equal amounts on general "foreigner info" in English, and on forums for Swedish people abroad in general.

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“Never job backwards. What might have been was a waste of time.” 
― Ian Fleming
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Despite the artificial drop in the rank from fourth to fifth place, there is no real change in the countries that Japanese nationals can travel to, as a short term visitor, without needing a visa.
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The average cost to renounce of the 33 non-free countries we sampled was $261. If you exclude the United States it is $196.
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Some of my biases show through here. However, I have been in the software industry for so long that I have met countless fly-by-night operations and digital grifters. Some of them were smart or good ideas. However, be warned: the Ministry of Justice requires more than just an exciting idea, great presentation, and enthusiasm. They want to see numeric proof of stability.
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In their circles
797 people
Have them in circles
746 people
Светлана Игнатенко's profile photo
Rene Robles's profile photo
Anthony Mortenson's profile photo
Amir Sparrow's profile photo
John Edward Benjamin's profile photo
Mark Schmidt's profile photo
Kevin Horn's profile photo
Samantha Viviers's profile photo
Pavel Balint's profile photo
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Instructions on how to get Japanese citizenship via naturalization.
Introduction
Most documentation for naturalization is printed on paper, and in Japanese (or Chinese / Korean). Our site attempts to explain, in English, how to qualify, and how and what to do to prepare for naturalization. Additionally, experiences from other English writers who have done the process are included. We hope to dispel myths and rumors regarding how one becomes Japanese.

WE DO NOT COVER VISAS OR PERMANENT RESIDENCY.
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