Upon naturalization, a person who does not hold the citizenship of a country acquires the citizenship of that country.
To become naturalized and obtain citizenship, you must follow the procedures established for each country. The same is true for naturalization in Japan and acquiring Japanese citizenship.
This article describes the naturalization procedure for acquiring Japanese citizenship.
How to become a naturalized citizen of Japan
The procedures for naturalization in Japan are set forth in Article 4 of the Nationality Law.
A foreigner (a person who holds only foreign citizenship and not Japanese citizenship) can acquire Japanese citizenship by naturalization in Japan.
In order for a foreigner to be naturalized, they must obtain the approval of the Minister of Justice.
In summary, foreigners can be naturalized in Japan and acquire Japanese citizenship if they obtain the approval of the Minister of Justice.
For example, if a foreigner who only holds citizenship A applies for naturalization in Japan and obtains the approval of the Minister of Justice, they can be naturalized and acquire Japanese citizenship.
Foreigners can decide for themselves whether to naturalize in Japan, and they are not forced to do so.
For example, even if a foreigner marries a Japanese citizen and has a child, they are free to decide whether to become a naturalized citizen.
What happens to the original citizenship when a foreigner is naturalized?
When a foreigner is naturalized and becomes a Japanese citizen, the original citizenship is basically renounced.
For example, if a foreigner who holds only citizenship A obtains Japanese citizenship through naturalization, he loses citizenship A – the original citizenship.
If a foreigner wants to become a naturalized citizen, they must be prepared to lose the citizenship of his home country.
In addition, persons who hold not only a foreign citizenship but also a Japanese citizenship (known as dual citizenship) cannot be naturalized because they hold Japanese citizenship by default (naturalization is not required).
What is the difference between naturalization and permanent residency?
Permanent residency is a similar system to naturalization but differs from it in many ways.
What naturalization and permanent residency have in common is that both procedures allow a person to live in Japan without interruption.
The difference between naturalization and permanent residency is whether it allows you to become a Japanese citizen.
In the case of naturalization, not only can you continue to live in Japan, but you can also acquire Japanese citizenship, which gives you the same rights as Japanese-born citizens.
In the case of permanent residency, you can continue to live in Japan, but you live only as a foreigner and do not have the same rights as Japanese citizens.