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Children of Japanese Father

Japan With Kids - Forums: Immigration/visas/re-entry permits/naturalization: Children of Japanese Father
By vanessa abe on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 8:10 pm:

hi there, i was wondering if anyone here could point me in the right direction? my husbands father is japanese, and my husband was born in the UK. his mother is English. i was wondering if anyone knew whether he could claim dual nationality? and if so, how would he go about it? thanks a million!!

By Pato on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 12:05 pm:

Rights to Japanese citizenship of illegitimate children (born to a Japanese father)

For the entire article please follow the link above.
Oct. 2, 2005
CURRENTS / 'Japanese' kids speak out over identity battle
Harumi Ozawa / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer

In the Tokyo District Court's Room 611, an 11-year-old girl summoned up her courage to testify in front of the robe-clad judges.

"My name in Japanese is Jurian Arashiro, but my passport bears Julie-Anne Chittum as my name," she said. "I made my name [in kanji] myself."

She explained the three kanji that she picked to phonetically match her Japanese-pronounced first name, Ju-ri-an.

Three Filipino women accompanied by their children--two aged 8, and one 9--also testified at the first hearing on July 15.

Demanding the government recognize their Japanese nationality, Jurian and eight other Japanese-Filipino children filed on April 12 the nation's first-ever class action suit over the issue.

Their supporters and lawyers believe they are only the tip of the iceberg, a hidden social group of illegitimate children born to foreign women and Japanese men.

Under the current law, an illegitimate child of a foreign mother and a Japanese father is eligible for Japanese nationality only when the father legally admits paternity before birth.

Once the baby is born, it takes the nationality of the mother unless the parents legally marry -- a rule that many lawyers argue discriminates against illegitimate children.

-- more --> follow link above

By Pato on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 12:26 pm:

I've sent an archived copy of the article to the admin at JWK in case the link is broketn. I think CRN (children's rights network may also be following this).

By Tonette Binsol on Wednesday, February 8, 2006 - 8:19 pm:

We need your support. Here's a Letter of Appeal to Declare Certain Provisions of the Nationality Law of Japan as Unconstitutional and to Grant Japanese Nationality to Petitioners. We do hope that other nationalities could support this petition.

To: The 38th Section of the Civil Court, Tokyo District Court, The Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, Japan

There is an increasing number of children borne by mixed parents, particularly between women from the Philippines and Japanese men. Many of these children, although recognized by their Japanese father ("Ninchi"), are deprived of Japanese nationality simply because their parents, for one reason or another, are not legally married, and recognition of the child by the Japanese father came after birth.

It has become an issue of national concern because the number of affected children is growing. Under the law, Japanese nationality is given only to children of mixed marriages, and to illegitimate children, but only when recognition of the child (by the Japanese father) comes before the birth of the child ("Taiji Ninchi"). This doesn't apply to illegitimate children who were recognized after birth ("Ninchi"). In this case, marriage between parents is their only hope to acquire Japanese nationality.

On the other hand, under Article 2, Section 1 of the Nationality Law of Japan, a child borne by a Japanese mother and a foreign father are automatically given Japanese nationality even if the parents, in this case, are not legally married.

The number of interracial marriages in Japan is growing because of the internal conditions in Japan and as a result of globalization where the movement of people is almost at pace with the movement of capital and commodities. At the same time, views about family relationship have also changed resulting in increased number of bi-cultural families with illegitimate children.

On April 12, 2005, nine Japanese-Filipino children together with their foreign mothers filed an appeal/petition at the Tokyo District Court to change provisions of the law that grant Japanese nationality to children of mixed parents. These children hope that their rights be heard like other Japanese children.

Demands of the Petition to the 38th Section of the Civil Court, Tokyo District Court:

1. Article 3-1 of the Japan Nationality Law requires marriage of parents aside from child recognition ("Ninchi") from Japanese father. This violates Article 14-1 of the Japanese Constitution that guarantees equal rights to its citizens. We appeal for a fair ruling on the issue, and that Japanese nationality is given to the petitioner.

Demands of the Petition to the The Minister of Justice:

1. Appeal to change the provisions of the Japan Nationality Law, and to grant equal rights to children recognized by their Japanese father ("Ninchi").

Please sign at .

Note: We would like to help illegitimate Japanese-Foreign Children to have their privilege too to have a Japanese nationality but we hope that mothers will not use such a privilege for their own benefit.

By mary ann torcuator on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 6:47 pm:

mabuhay k tonette!

By Pato on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 8:57 am:

Court recognizes 9 children born to unmarried Filipinas as Japanese

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 04:59 EST
TOKYO The Tokyo District Court granted Japanese nationality on Wednesday to nine children who were born to nine unmarried Philippine women and who have Japanese fathers, saying a Nationality Law provision that denies nationality to children recognized by their father after their birth is unconstitutional.

The court took issue with different treatments given to children born to couples consisting of a foreigner and a Japanese national in granting nationality under the Nationality Law. Presiding Judge Hiroyuki Kanno noted that Japanese nationality is granted under the Nationality Law to children born out of wedlock if their mothers are Japanese or if the children are recognized by the Japanese fathers before their births.

2006 Kyodo News

By Ruth S Mccreery on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 12:06 pm:

For an unmarried foreign woman who is pregnant and planning to keep the baby, I am hoping that someone can point me to information on what, if any, legal obligations the man involved has.

He does not want the child, presumably will not acknowledge it in the family register, and has indicated that he has no intention of providing any support.

Is there any way to force him to pay child support? (I am not hopeful, but thought I
should ask.)

By Hill on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 6:30 pm:

As long as the father does not declare paternity (ninshi) he has no legal tie to tha baby AT ALL under Japanese law. If you put his name on the Consular Report of Birth (USA), then the US government courts can theoretically sue him for child support, should he ever venture into the United States.-however, the same courts have a pretty hard time enforcing child support decisions involving US citizens. I don't know the legalities for other countries.

A word of advice - DO NOT PUT THE FATHERS NAME ON THE CONSULAR REPORT! If the mother does so, she will be unable to obtain a US passport or renewal of such for her child, since the new anti-kidnapping laws require the signature of both parents on the passport application. She would have to go through the tedious and possibly unsuccessful process of proving to the Passort office that she has sole custody. Without a divorce or a child custody court case on record, the documentation for single custody is very hard to obtain.

Illegitimate Japanese fathers usually don't pay child support or keep in contact with the child. There are exceptions of course, but the dad probably thinks he is acting in a reasonable and socially acceptable way.

Two positive sides-
1) Single unmarried moms of half-Japanese kids who haven't been acknowledged by their dads NEVER have to worry that the dad or the dad's grandparents will kidnap the kid (basically with the Japanese courts blessing).

2) I have never met an unmarried mom in Japan who regretted having their kid. Such kids are usually well-adjusted, mature and very aware of the fact that they are deeply loved. They grow up to be their mom's best friend.

By Cornelia on Wednesday, March 1, 2006 - 9:58 pm:

Most people are aware that the rule for Japanese nationality is through blood and not birthplace. However, in addition the rule is different for children born out of wedlock and those born in a marriage if the mother is not Japanese (if the mother is Japanese then the child is a Japanese national regardless of who the father is). This apparently unfair treatment of children with a Japanese father but a foreign mother is being contested in the courts. There is more than one case of this type in the past 12 months.

The ruling below is confusing. It seems to say that the court does not have the power to declare a piece of law unconstitutional and thus to overturn it. However, there is often a lot less detail in the English press than in the Japanese press. Is there anyone who has read a version of the story in the Japanese press and might offer us a translation, or at least a list of the pertinent factors?
Court overturns ruling that recognized boy's Japanese nationality

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 at 06:33 EST

TOKYO EThe Tokyo High Court on Tuesday rejected a request to confirm that an 8-year-old boy born out of wedlock to a Filipino woman and a Japanese man has Japanese nationality, overturning an earlier court ruling which recognized him as a Japanese national.

The high court said, even if the Nationality Law provision, which mandates different treatment for children born to married couples and those born out of wedlock, was ruled unconstitutional, it would not enable the boy to gain Japanese nationality under the current system.

By Smint2605 on Sunday, February 10, 2008 - 8:59 am:

PLEASE HELP!..I have 2 kids with me both born here in japan.They have different Japanese Fathers. My eldest was declared as Filipino because he wasn't recognized by his Japanese Father while the youngest one was recognized by his Japanese Father (Taiji Ninti) so he was automatically declared as Japanese citizen. My Ex-husbands were gone and I don't even know their whereabouts. Right now I'm living Single
and try my best to raise my children. I'm working in a company and doing some Part-time jobs although I'm an Overstay. I went to the Yokohama Immigration with my lawyer to apply for Special Permission. I got an interview for 4 hours long, telling them the whole story with my interpreter.After the interview and all, They gave me a List of necessary papers to accomplish like Employment certificates, Pictures, Birth Certificates in Nihonggo, etc. Right now I'm in a process of completing my papers and for my eldest son. Does anyone have an idea of our status in Immigation? I'm totally desperate to get a visa for me and my children because
We want to stay here legally specially now that their growing. Now, I don't know what will happen next after this. Is there any possibility
the Yokohama Immigration would be able to give me and my eldest son a Visa?

By Tesselator on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 2:36 am:


Hehehe I think you need a new layer!

I'm here under almost the same circumstances. I don't know all the options and answers but in my case they made my kid who is a citizen "the head of the household" and we all have visas sponsored by him.

I suppose a major factor in all this is your nationality.

Good luck. Get a counselor that ALREADY knows about the options that are available.

I wouldn't sweat it though. There is a citizen in your family and that's a pretty major factor. The Japanese go to great lengths not to break up families last I looked. (this is the opposite from the USA)

By Smint2605 on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 10:50 am:

Thank Tesselator.. I appreciate ur response. Is it really necessary to change my lawyer? In your case, After your interview, on that day, Did they give u a paper containing a lists of papers to be accomplished? Does your Visa released on that same day? What happened next after your interview on the day of your application? I really can't get my status now. I can't even find a better job coz I'm still overstay..Totally screwed up!

By Tesselator on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 3:46 am:

Change lawyer? - I would. Or at least I would look for a service that does this all the time as a main gig. I have a cousin (Japanese) that does such a thing. I dunno how many he's done but mostly he's doing it for Philippinos.

Interview? - No there was none. Or at least nothing that I remember as being "an interview".

Paper of papers? - Umm... maybe. It's hard to remember. I'm going to ask my GF what the procedure was and get back to you.

I wasn't overstay tho so that may be different. At any rate I seriously doubt they'll ask you to leave or anything. So relax and follow the bureaucratic flow. For me I THINK it was a few forms and a few trips to the City Hall. They told me everything I needed to do - I didn't need any professional help. Just: here I am, these are the details, what do I do? And they told me.

I can offer you my cousin if you want. His name is Kohei and the phone number is: 090-1413-6644 He speaks pretty good English. Just say you were referred to him for Visa processing help.

Again, I'll get back to you when I have a chance to be refreshed as to exactly how amany papers I had to fill out and stuff. I do remember that they made my 12 year old son (Japanese born) the "Head of the Household" and sponsored everyone around that. 3 other kids and me (2 other kids and me are not Jap citizens).

Hehehe I think I've already done more writing here than was required for the visa applications and stuff. :D

By Tesselator on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 4:09 am:

OK, here it is... I got a paper of papers ;) where the woman who I talked to (Maybe that was an interview) circled a few things that I had to do. 4 things to do. Among them

- Reason Letter (I think I wrote something lame like: "Because I want to.")

- Employment Certificate (I think I said I was self employed)

- Guarantee Letter - I think I told them I didn't have one and they OK and that was that. But maybe there was some BS work-around where my kid wrote one. And with this was also needed a Japanese income tax statement. (so this was an extra trip to the ward office to get a tax statement)

And the whole thing was three trips to the city hall.

One to find out what I needed to do. (4 hrs)

One to deliver the completed forms they gave me. (2 hrs)

And one to get the visa stamped. (1 hrs)

By Kurz on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 2:31 pm:

Dear Tesselator Dean,
I've never heard of getting a visa from City Hall. As far as I always heard, the only people who give out visas are immigration. It doesn't sound quite right to me.

Dear Smint,
Mother overstayed could cause a problem. But the fact that they let you go back home after the 4 hour interview is a good sign. They could have grabbed you and locked you up right then and there.

You are really lucky that your second child got his ninchi right at birth. IF the father had waited, then Japanese nationality would not have been automatic. So yes, since one of your children is definitely Japanese, your total picture looks pretty good.

The'll probably end up giving you the Long-term residency visa (needs to be renewed every three years) because you are the tsukisoi parent of a Japanese child (you are the one raising the child who is still underage). Later when that child is 20, then you'll probably have to start over again with a new kind of paperwork, if you want to stay in Japan.

Your oldest child can probably apply for Japanese nationality at age 20 if he can pass the language examination.

You can try to get "ninchi" through a lengthy court procedure for the older child, however, it will not get that child Japanese nationality.

If you are Filippina, then there is an organization in Tokyo willing to help you. I will try to find their contact information for you. They are well-organized and seem quite strong, with lawyers working pro-bono and everything.

OK here it is:
JFC Network (Citizenfs Network for Japanese Filipino Children)
Hours: 10:00-18:00, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
Tel: 03-3264-4272, Fax 03-3264-4272
E-mail jfcnet [at]
Languages Japanese, English and Tagalog

By Kurz on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 1:13 pm:

Dear Smint (and all other interested parties),

JFC Network (Citizenfs Network for Japanese Filipino Children) has a new phone number (an IP phone): 050-3328-0143
Also they moved location. They are now about 5 minutes walk from Tochomae station in Shinjuku (or 15 minute walk from West exit of Shinjuku station.

Also the appeal in the case mentioned above

By Pato on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 9:57 am:
Court recognizes 9 children born to unmarried Filipinas as Japanese

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 04:59 EST
TOKYO The Tokyo District Court granted Japanese nationality on Wednesday to nine children who were born

by the Department of Justice (against the Tokyo District Court decision) will finally be decided upon this April 16, 14:00, at Supreme Court, in the biggest courtroom. At least we all think it is the final hearing. The Supreme Court is near Kasumigaseki station (exit A4 ? maybe), 2-3 minutes walk. The public is welcomed to attend. Even if you understand Japanese it might be a bit boring, but if you have the time, please come, and show your support for these 9 children and a few thousands more like them.

By Kurz on Thursday, June 5, 2008 - 9:22 am:

Do not jump for joy just yet! Those children who have not been formally recognized by their fathers are not going to be counted in this. Also, the time it takes for the Nationality Law to be revised could be stretched out quite a long way.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Top court: Nationality Law unconstitutional / Says out-of-wedlock children are Japanese
The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that denying Japanese nationality to children born out of wedlock to Japanese fathers and foreign mothers is unconstitutional, overturning a lower court decision.

Ruling in favor of all 10 plaintiffs in two cases, the top court found it unconstitutional that Japanese citizenship was denied to children who were born out of wedlock to Japanese fathers and Filipino mothers, even though the fathers later acknowledged paternity. The plaintiffs currently hold Philippine nationality.

The Supreme Court's Grand Bench ruled a clause of the Nationality Law requiring parents be married before their children are granted Japanese citizenship violated Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees equality under the law.

Ten of the 15 justices, including presiding Justice Niro Shimada, ruled the plaintiffs should be granted Japanese nationality.

The ruling marks the eighth time since World War II that the Supreme Court has found part of a law unconstitutional. Wednesday's ruling is expected to pressure the government to revise the Nationality Law.

Tens of thousands of children of foreign nationality in a similar situation as the plaintiffs are said to live in Japan. The ruling is expected to lead to a rush among those affected to obtain Japanese nationality.

The plaintiffs are boys and girls aged 8 to 14, mostly living in the Kanto region. They originally applied to the justice minister for Japanese nationality, but their requests were turned down. They then filed suits seeking Japanese citizenship between 2003 and 2005.

A particularly contentious point in the suits was whether the clause of the Nationality Law that bars children born out of wedlock to foreign mothers, but who later were proved to have been fathered by a Japanese, from obtaining Japanese citizenship is discriminatory.

The Tokyo District Court and the Tokyo High Court issued split rulings.

In its ruling, the top court said that in 1984, when the law was revised, "There may have been compelling reasons that marriage between a Japanese father and foreign mother was used as a measure of their child's ties with Japan."

The top court argued, therefore, that at the time the law did not violate the Constitution.

However, the number of children born out of wedlock has been growing, while family structures and lifestyle have become more diverse. Given that, the top court said, "The provision does not necessarily match today's reality, if diversity and changes of attitudes toward family life and the parent-child relationship are taken into consideration."

The top court ruled the denial of nationality for children who have Japanese fathers, and are acknowledged by their fathers, based only on the fact their parents are not married irrationally discriminates against them.

However, three justices -- Kazuko Yokoo, Osamu Tsuno and Yuki Furuta -- offered dissenting opinions, saying: "In a case of children born out of wedlock, the naturalization system determining an individual's ties with Japan is rational. Thus, making [their parents'] marriage a requirement is also rational."

(Jun. 5, 2008)

By Smint2605 on Thursday, June 5, 2008 - 6:04 pm:

Your info helps a lot. Right now I'm still waiting for the result of my application. The Immigration had visited my house twice then the other day, they asked me to come over to their office for some interrogations not until it finishes the whole day. Now I'm in a very hard situation just to save our everyday living with my two children. I wonder if I could ask the Immigration for a permission to work. Is it possible if I come to their office and ask them this favor? It's so hard to raise children here in Japan without a job to get something for our living. Aside from the mere fact that I don't even have any idea of until when the result of my aplication will be made. There is a company who is willing to help me get a job but they were asking for a certificate from the Immigration indicating a permission for me to work while the case is in progress. I'm not just quite sure if it is possible.

By Hidesa_18 on Monday, January 9, 2012 - 2:59 pm:

good day!

my father is a japanese national and i'm currently living here in japan. how can i acquire japanese nationality?
as what i have read in the amended nationality act i couldnt acquire japanese nationality eventhough my father had acknowledge me because i was born on 1981. is there any possibility that i can acquire it aside from naturalization law?
i'm living for almost a year now, and i'm hoping that i can acquire japanese nationality.
please help me..
thank you very much.
God bless!

By Pato on Saturday, January 21, 2012 - 11:53 am:

Dear Teresita Hidesa,
I think the answer is probably that you have to go through the regular naturalization process (not based solely on the fact that you have a Japanese parent) because you are over 20 years old. Naturalization is easier to get than Permanent Residence permission. If you have a University degree and if you have a certain level of Japanese ability, and you make your home in Japan you can get naturalization. Many foreign students, particularly from China, who have studied in Japan for their 4 year degrees and then found jobs in Japan do this.

You must also agree to give up your other nationality. However, even if you hand in your passport from your home country, it is not so easy to strip yourself of your nationality. Many people really end up keeping their original nationality even if they do not replace the passport. The Japanese government has no power over another government, and can not force them to take away someone's citizenship.

The children that get Japanese citizenship through their fathers in spite of there having been no marriage, must still choose only one citizenship before their 21st birthday. So this citizenship example has a limitation.

By Fatsy_girl on Saturday, January 28, 2012 - 3:17 am:

Please help i have a daughter 2 years of age I'm a Filipino and her father is a Japanese. We are not Married. He is here last year but forgot to sign the birth certificate but he is willing. I want to know if in near future can my daughter apply Japanese citizenship even we are not married?

By Changchang on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 2:28 am:

Konichiwa :-)

Can anyone give me some advices of what to do.. ? ..
My father is japanese and my mother is filipina and im still a minor. the problem is my father doesn't want to give me his ninchi. what can i do to have japanese nationality? and to get my rights as his child? PLEASE HELP T_T

By Anonymous on Saturday, March 3, 2012 - 4:57 pm:

Hi. My father is a Japanese, but I was born out of wedlock. I'm already 20 years old. I've never seen my dad since birth, and we've never had communication. I wanna find him. I'm not after the citizenship, I just want my rights as his daughter. I know it's not a privilege, it's my right to be acknowledged as his child and get a support from him.

By Aigilkei on Sunday, December 16, 2012 - 12:20 am:

goodevening! Im a single mom with a two kids, my youngest her father is a japanese and we're not married. We lost communication for 4 years, Last 2010 I had a chance to work again in Japan,this year month of May I file a case regarding Ninchi of my daughter,Nov we had DNA testing and Dec 12 the result was a goodnews, and now just waiting for the judgement of the said case, my question, is there a posibility does my daughter can grant to be a japanese citizen? can we have a chance to live in Japan?

By Aigilkei on Sunday, December 16, 2012 - 12:29 am:

goodevening! Im a single mom with a two kids, my youngest her father is a japanese and we're not married. We lost communication for 4 years, Last 2010 I had a chance to work again in Japan,this year month of May I file a case regarding Ninchi of my daughter,Nov we had DNA testing and Dec 12 the result was a goodnews, and now just waiting for the judgement of the said case, my question, is there a posibility does my daughter can grant to be a japanese citizen? can we have a chance to live in Japan?

By Okier on Sunday, March 17, 2013 - 11:40 pm:

im confuse!i need help,im a half japanese my mother is filipino and my father is a japanese,i gave birth to my son here in philippines and we got problem to his citizenship.he is now 6mos old and the consul told me that he will not get his japanese citizen and there a other way to be a japanese citizen he should stay to japan within 6mos.but when we applying for his philippine passport they are looking for new dual citizen of me because my dual citizen i was 5yrs old they are looking for a new one the updated and i need to oath if im oathing to be recognized as filipino,will my japanese citizen be lost??im 22 years old and i need also reannounce my citizenship and i choose japanese citizen.

By Kuba_marina on Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 9:13 am:

I will appreciate on any advice and help I got merried to a Japanese in US and 4 years later I had a daughter she is now 15 but her father went back to Japan and he abandoned us for 11 years now we are trying to reunite with him but I want to know how we can get citizenship for my daughter and permanent Permanent Residence permission for me.

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