• Yokohama, Kanagawa


I was a little confused after reading Kristy Kosaka’s Jan. 27 Zeit Gist article, “Half, bi or double? One family’s trouble.” She writes that under Japanese law those with dual nationality must abandon one nationality before the age of 22. After reading that sentence my heart skipped a beat and with trembling hands I turned to a U.S. Embassy Web site page: http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-7118.html.

sk,1 This turned out to be a great source of information on dual Japanese-U.S. nationality that immediately put my fears to bed. I was quite relieved to learn that the United States, like many other countries, recognizes the existence of dual nationality and permits Americans to have other nationalities. The fact that Japanese law requires minors with dual nationality to choose a single nationality by the time they are an adult does not necessarily mean they have to relinquish citizenship to another country. Choosing Japanese nationality does not automatically equate to loss of citizenship in any country.

So why was the confusion of this article compounded with misinformation? My family finds ourselves in the same boat as Kosaka’s family. These pages are supposed to help us navigate the problems of everyday life in Japan. Editors should be able to steer readers clear of the murky waters of such an article and save them from drowning in a sea of anxiety.

john cassidy

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