Do not simply copy the sample documents for on the motive of the naturalization application

It is necessary to write a letter of motivation when you apply for naturalization. However, many do not know how to write a motivation letter in detail or why they should write one at all. This topic explains how a motivation letter works, what points you need to write and what you should pay attention to.

What is a motivation letter?

It is a document in which you express “why you want to become a Japanese citizen". It includes a summary of your background, how you ended up in Japan, what you have been doing since you arrived in Japan, what you think of Japan, your academic background and major, your family situation, your future goals, etc.

Specifically, you should write about the following.

  • When and where were you born?

Write your place of birth, date of birth, family circumstances and living conditions in your home country, and your image of Japan.

  • Activities after you arrived in Japan

Describe what you do in Japan.

  • Family situation

Whether your family is harmonious or not, whether you have adapted to life in Japan, etc.

  • Academic background and field of study

Write down what you learned during your school years, what subject you studied, etc.

  • Reason and purpose of your visit to Japan

Background that led to your visit and your motivation for coming to Japan.

  • Life in Japan, current occupation

Marriage, presence or absence of children, work environment and job satisfaction, etc.

  • That you have had no behavioural problems in the past

If you have no criminal record or traffic violations, indicate that you meet the good behaviour requirement.

  • Thoughts on naturalization
  • Dreams for the future
  • Social contribution you have made so far, social contribution you would like to make in the future, etc.

Important points about the letter of motivation for naturalization

  • Be sure to write it by hand.

You can fill out the application form for naturalization permit on the computer, but in principle, you should write the motive for naturalization by hand.

If you find it difficult to write by hand due to physical reasons, you should consult with the Legal Affairs Bureau.

  • Children under 15 years of age do not have to write a motive.

Anyone under the age of 15 must submit the application with a family member. However, a motivation letter is not required.

  • Exemption for special permanent residents

Special permanent residents are exempt from submitting a letter of motivation.

  • Avoid motives that indicate your desire to obtain a Japanese passport or that mimic the motives in the naturalization guidelines.

The situation that led to the naturalization application varies from person to person. If you only mimic example sentences, it will seem unnatural and you will not be able to convey your enthusiasm.

Summarize the main points in about 500 to 600 Japanese characters.


A motivation letter is a document in which you explain why you want to become a Japanese citizen, such as your background, how you came to Japan, your activities after arriving in Japan, and your feelings about Japan. It should be handwritten.

Individuals under the age of 15 are not required to submit the letter of motivation, and permanent residents are also exempt from this requirement.

The situation that led to the naturalization application varies from person to person. It is important to summarize the points concisely and write concretely, because it will look unnatural if you just mimic the sample sentences, and you will not be able to convey your enthusiasm.