I am a Japanese descendant, living in Japan for almost 15 years, with a permanent resident visa. I was born in the Philippines of a Japanese father who was also born in the Philippines. My grandfather was a Japanese soldier who married a Filipina, my grandmother. My father also married a Filipina, my mother, but he died 20 years ago. I am the eldest of two brothers.
In my father’s family registry (Koseki-Tohhon), my brother and I are registered. However, my parents were actually married in May 1984, while I was born in April 1963.
My question is as follows.
- Can I apply to become a Japanese national, like my father who was also Japanese?
- How do I have to do it?
A-1) Referring to your question, my opinion and answers are as follows.
1) General information
(How many types are there to get Japanese nationality when a child is born in Japan or abroad?)
In accordance with the definition of Japanese Nationality Law, there are three types of acquisition of nationality by birth. Following are the regulations.
In any of the following cases, a child shall be a Japanese national:
(1) When, at the time of its birth, the father or the mother is a Japanese national:
(2) When the father who died prior to the birth of the child was a Japanese national at the time of his death:
(3) When both parents are unknown or have no nationality, in a case where the child is born in Japan.
In this context, it means that a father and mother should be a legal father and mother who had already married in the eye of the law when a child was born.
Therefore, a child who was born between unmarried parents, legally speaking, could not be recognized as a Japanese national even if a Japanese father gave his paternity recognition for his child after his/her birth.
However, a child could become a Japanese national at the time of his/her birth if the Japanese father gave his paternity recognition for his child prior to his/her birth.
It is called “unborn baby paternity recognition”.
2) Your case
(Even if I missed my Japanese nationality when I was born in April 1963, I think I had already got Japanese nationality at the time of my parents’ marriage in May 1984 or after
their marriage. Because, my brother and I had just registered in the register book (KOSEKI-TOHON) same as my Japanese father.)
No, you could not get Japanese citizenship yet.
Because your father and mother have never got married legally before and when you were born. That is, a child who was born between unmarried parents, legally speaking, could not be recognized as a Japanese national even if a Japanese father gave his paternity recognition for his child after his/her birth.
Besides, in accordance with the law, it regulated as follows,
(1) a child(excluding a child who was once a Japanese national) under twenty years of age who has acquired the status of a legitimate child by reason of the marriage of its father and mother and their recognition, may acquire Japanese nationality by making notification to the Minister of Justice, if the father or mother who has affected the recognition was, at the time of the child’s birth, a Japanese national and such father or mother is presently a Japanese national or was, at the time of his or her death, a Japanese national.
(2) a child who makes notification in accordance with the preceding paragraph shall acquire Japanese notification.
As you can see above, you are not yet a Japanese national because of your age.
3) Can I get Japanese nationality like my father?
Yes, you can apply for naturalization, which is getting Japanese citizenship.
You can take steps in the naturalization procedure in accordance with Article 4. of the Nationality Law at the nearest Regional Legislative Bureau (“Chiho-Hohmu-kyoku” in Japanese). I think your case will be treated as a simple case because your father is Japanese.
I hope everything is OK and well.
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