“To become a Japanese citizen, a foreigner must display ‘good conduct’, among other things. The rules do not specify what that means, and make no mention of living wafu (Japanese-style). But for one candidate, at least, it involved officials looking in his fridge and inspecting his children’s toys to see if he was Japanese enough (he was). Bureaucratic discretion is the main reason why it is hard to get Japanese nationality. The ministry of justice, which handles the process, says officials may visit applicants’ homes and talk to their neighbors.”
Japan has a remarkably homogeneous population, in large part because they have very tight immigration laws (here is a more extended list of the requirements to obtain a Japanese citizenship).
Questions to Ponder: How is the notion of Japanese citizenship different from American citizenship? As Japan’s population continues to decline, how might that change Japan’s migration/citizenship policies?
Tags: Japan, East Asia, place, perspective, cultural norms, culture.